The Scope of H-1B Changes for 2020

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By: Andrea Mora-Alcauter

Most of the requirements for the H-1B visa are set by law, but the details do change occasionally. The government hosts an annual lottery because there is a statutory cap on the total number of new H-1B visas allowed every year, and recent demand outweighs supply. Recently, the US government announced that the lottery format is changing.

H-1B Filing Changes for 2020

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to hire professionals with bachelor’s degrees or equivalent work experience in specialized fields (such as computer science, IT, medicine, accounting, law, engineering, mathematics, etc.). H-1B positions must require the applicant’s level of expertise at companies that have the budget to pay them fairly.

Most of the upcoming changes to the H-1B lottery system will take effect for jobs starting as early as October 1st, 2020:

  • There is a new electronic registration system with a $10 non-refundable fee.
  • Companies must register online between March 1 and March 20, 2020 to participate.
  • Fees are $10 per candidate to enter the lottery. If your applicant gets picked, there are additional USCIS fees.
  • The government will select candidates after the initial registration period ends and no later than March 31, 2020.
  • Companies can file H-1B petitions for anyone who is selected.
  • There will be a 90-day window to submit completed petitions after selection in the lottery. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to conduct due diligence before entering the lottery, to make sure your petition is complete and is submitted on time.
  • Upon filing, your company must pay the standard government filing fees, where applicable.
  • Premium processing is currently available for $1,440 extra. The government will process the case within 15 calendar days if you use this option.


Bringing the best talent to your company benefits everyone involved and is important work. There is a lot of attention to detail required for a successful H-1B visa petition. Work with an experienced Chugh, LLP attorney to help you successfully manage the H-1B visa process and deadlines.

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