Will H1B 2021-22 lottery be affected by Coronavirus Recession?

USCIS is working and no news of closing or delaying H1B lottery in April 2021. Economic recession may affect H1B jobs. Airlines, Banking hiring slow.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  11 Mar, 21

Chances of H1B RFE and approval after lottery during Coronavirus as per my opinion:

  1. IT Consulting In-house projects – RFE chance 90%, Approval chance less than 25%
  2. IT consulting end client project ends before approval – RFE chance 50%, approval chance good if new client letter available – 80%
  3. Full-time job US employer – 98% chance of approval

The Coronavirus has hurt the US economy and many people with American work visa dreamers are carefully watching the news.

We try to analyze if the COVID-19 restrictions will affect the H1B lottery due to slow down in growth and recession.

Will USCIS extend the H1B registration date due to Coronavirus?

H1B registration date is not extended due to Coronavirus.

Many US employers have closed their offices but we hope that they will be able to register H1B workers in USCIS’s new system.

It is possible that USCIS announces an extension if all employers are not able to register within time due to COVID-19 office closures.

USCIS h1b lottery registration dates

Can Recession in the US affect the H1B Approval Processing Time?

USCIS is open and worked even after Trump declared a national emergency. As a matter of fact, the H1B processing time for regular (non-premium) applications reduced to about 1 month from normal 8-9 months in 2020.

Will Lottery be run if Low H1B Applications are Filed?

USCIS runs the H1B lottery only if the total number of applications filed is more than the available number of H1B visas.

If the number of registrations is lower than 85k, then there would be no lottery to select applications randomly.

Airlines & Travel Industry Layoffs

Airlines, hotels, and the cruise industry are hard hit in the current COVID emergency. The vaccine has already started and may improve the economic scenario by April.

All of them did cut down workforce and lay offs did happen in 2020. Some of them even froze hiring and you may also find it difficult to find a US H-1B sponsor this year.

The chances are high that many US employers from the hospitality sector will scrap new projects which in turn will be bad for the H1B lottery.

H1B Healthcare Business

If your H1B is being filed for a client in the healthcare sector, then you still have a very good chance of making it to the lottery.

Companies like CVS, Walgreens, and others in healthcare will see a jump in their revenue and will have money to spend on new projects.

We expect your H1B to be filed and approved easily if you are going to work as a doctor or physician in the US.

Healthcare services have good chance of getting h1b visa
Healthcare services have good chance of getting h1b visa

IT projects in insurance companies like United healthcare, BCBS and others should also see a healthy demand.

Health insurance will definitely see a jump and you can expect jobs opening up in this sector. More healthcare spending will mean more jobs.

Banking is down

Banking services in the area of home mortgage and car loans will see a sharp slowdown as people will be asked to work from home and avoid social interactions.

Restaurants and malls will see low footfall and hence will affect the car selling business in America.

The car industry is slowing down and will affect IT consulting jobs with Ford, Toyota, and other companies. Tesla hires a lot of H1B talent and will be affected.

H1B lottery 2009-13 was Affected by 2008 Recession

The same type of slowdown was seen in the 2008 housing market crash when H1B jobs were lost.

The effect of the recession on the H1B lottery was visible from the fact that there was no lottery required from 2009 to 2013.

A 19-month recession from Dec 2007 to June 2009 affected the new IT projects and US employers cut down sharply on new hires.

Going by that trend, it is possible that a global economic meltdown affects the next one to two H1B season cycles.

I do know many people who’s H1B application was selected in April 2008 but their employer did not call them to the US even after their application was approved by USCIS to start work from Oct 1, 2008. This happened simply because the projects were abruptly stopped by end clients after April.

In today’s world, USCIS does not even approve an H1B if the end client project is shelved or a consulting company cannot produce a client letter after RFE.

It is very important that you file H1B with a full-time direct client employer if you want to have a greater chance of working in the US starting Oct 1.


Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

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