The $notifications->have_posts() return false, though I'm sure there are few posts of this custom type, in the database.

add_action('user_register','jq_after_user_register_hook', 10, 1);
function jq_after_user_register_hook( $user_id ){
    global $wpdb;
    $user_meta = get_userdata($user_id);
    if ( isset( $user_meta->roles ) && is_array( $user_meta->roles ) && in_array('subscriber', $user_meta->roles) ) {

        $args = array(
            'meta_query' => array(
                    'key' => 'sending_time',
                    'value' => 'on_registration',
                    'compare' => '=',
            'post_type' => '_jq_notifications',
            'posts_per_page' => -1
        $notifications = new WP_Query($args);
        while ($notifications->have_posts()) : $notifications->the_post();
            $post_id = get_the_ID();

PS:The same block of code (i.e. new WP_Query) works in wp_ajax action
add_action( "wp_ajax__jq_admin_g_nos", "_jq_admin_get_notifications" );

  • I have experience before that custom post types and taxonomies are actually not yet ready in certain hook. You may find out in this direction. Example, you you try 'init' hook to do the same thing to see if there is any results. – simongcc May 21 '20 at 3:22

I resolved this by adding 'post_status' => 'draft' to the $args array, as below
$args = array( 'meta_query' => array( array( 'key' => 'sending_time', 'value' => 'on_registration', 'compare' => '=', ) ), 'post_type' => '_jq_notifications', 'posts_per_page' => -1, 'post_status' => 'draft' );
The custom post type "_jq_notifications" default status was draft.
The documentation here says

post_status: Default value is ‘publish‘, but if the user is logged in, ‘private‘ is added. Public custom post statuses are also included by default. And if the query is run in an admin context (administration area or AJAX call), protected statuses are added too. By default protected statuses are ‘future‘, ‘draft‘ and ‘pending‘.

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