H-1B Visa Breaking News & Updates
USCIS Releases A Federal Register Notice for the H-1B Registration Process For 2021 H-1B Petitions
On 01/09/2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a Federal Register notice to formally announce the implementation of the H-1B registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H‑1B cap-subject petitions. This notice is required for the initial implementation of the registration process, as stated in the Jan. 31, 2019 H-1B registration final rule.
We will open an initial registration period from March 1 through March 20, 2020, for the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations.
During this timeframe, H-1B cap-subject petitioners, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, seeking to file a FY 2021 H-1B cap petition will be required to first register electronically with USCIS and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each submission.
Prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically submit a separate registration naming each alien for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. Duplicate registrations are prohibited.
As described in the H-1B registration final rule, if more than a sufficient number of registrations are received, we will randomly select the number of registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations after the initial registration period closes and notify registrants with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020.
Prospective petitioners with selected registrations will be eligible to file a FY 2021 cap-subject petition only for the alien named in the registration and within the filing period indicated on the eligibility notice.
We will not consider a cap-subject H-1B petition to be properly filed unless it is based on a valid, selected registration for the same beneficiary and the appropriate fiscal year unless the registration requirement is suspended. Additionally, although petitioners can register multiple aliens during a single online submission, a petitioner may only submit one registration per beneficiary in any fiscal year. If a petitioner submits more than one registration per beneficiary in the same fiscal year, all registrations filed by that petitioner relating to that beneficiary for that fiscal year will be considered invalid.
Outreach activities will take place before the opening of the initial registration period to allow users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new electronic registration process. We will conduct in-depth webinars and publish a series of videos for attorneys and general users to walk through the system step-by-step.
USCIS Announces Implementation of Electronic H-1B Cap
and Lottery Registration Process
On December 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will implement an electronic registration process for the upcoming H-1B lottery. This announcement confirms USCIS’s long-standing goal of implementing the new registration system for the Fiscal Year 2021 cap season (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021). Registrations will take place in March of 2020, and the H-1B lottery will be conducted in April of 2020. H-1B registrations selected in the lottery will be notified to submit their H-1B petitions after the lottery is completed.
The announcement states that USCIS has completed a successful pilot testing phase for the online H-1B registration system. However, a number of critical details remain unknown at this time, including details of the registration process. USCIS’s announcement said that they will post step-by-step instructions informing registrants how to complete the registration process on its website along with key dates and timelines as the initial registration period nears. USCIS will also conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure registrants and interested parties are familiar with the new registration system. USCIS may determine it necessary to continue accepting registrations or open an additional registration period if it does not receive enough registrations and subsequent petitions projected to reach the numerical allocations.
Employers should start to prepare now by identifying all employees and candidates who will be sponsored for the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap. We will send out our usual H-1B cap reminder email in January to start collecting the information we will need to prepare for the H-1B registration process.
For additional details on the H-1B cap registration program, please see the following:
Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to help! Bennett Savitz is a top H-1B visa lawyer in the U.S., specializing in H-1B visas & other business immigration law needs.