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The H-1B Process Gets a Reboot

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Planning to employ H-1B workers next year?

Seeking to employ H-1B workers for 2021? You need to follow the new electronic registration process by March 20, 2020, to be eligible for the lottery. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed its process for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021 cap, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption. And in case you’re waiting for your usual reminders and notifications, USCIS will not be using pre-paid mailers to send out any communication or final notices for H-1B petitions.

“Historically, employers filed their full, and often voluminous, H-1B cap-subject petitions with USCIS, after which USCIS would select eligible petitions through a random selection process. This process resulted in unnecessary paperwork and incurred mailing costs for both petitioners and the agency,” USCIS issued in a statement. Now only those selected from the lottery will be required to submit a full petition.

To submit an H-1B registration, you must first create a USCIS online account. An associated $10 H-1B registration fee has also been initiated this year. For more about the process, view these instructions.


Texas ranks high in the number of employers that apply for H-1B workers for several reasons. Houston is the third top U.S. city—below New York and San Francisco only—with more than 6,000 applications each year. Medical jobs set Houston apart and push it toward the top of the list, with employers like Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center receiving hundreds of H-1B visas each year.

Austin rounds out the top 12 (a list that also includes Irving and Dallas), unsurprisingly due to a high concentration of tech hires. The leading employers in Austin that applied for H-1B visas last year were Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Visa Technology & Operations, Deloitte & Touche, IBM, and Apple.

“Many Austin tech companies depend on H-1B tech workers that they sponsor individually,” says The HT Group Founder and CEO Mark Turpin. “There are also many Austin IT staffing firms that make their business on supplying H-1B IT workers. Tech staffing for the state of Texas has always depended heavily on H-1B tech workers.”


The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.

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