August 8, 2020

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USCIS Announces FY 2021 H-1B Processing Delays

On April 13, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data entry and the generation of receipt notices would be delayed until at least May 1, 2020, for fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions.

The following is a summary of the key information provided by USCIS:

  • USCIS will not immediately begin data entry for petitions received during the H-1B filing window that began on April 1, 2020, and runs for 90 days.

  • Each petition will be stamped with the date it was received at the service center.

  • Once data entry commences, USCIS will process petitions in the order of receipt.

  • The 90-day filing window remains unchanged. All FY 2021 H-1B cap petitions must be received by June 30, 2020.

  • Petitioners are encouraged to wait to inquire about their case status with USCIS until they have received a receipt notice.

  • Employers can expect a “general delay” in the processing of FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

USCIS stated that it was “mindful” of cap-gap petitions and other petitions with sensitive expiration or start dates. The agency stated that it would process those petitions as “efficiently as possible.”

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 107

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About this Author

Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions...

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