H-1B Visa Breaking News & Updates
FY 2021 H-1B Cap Petitions May Be Filed as of April 1
April 1, 2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may now be filed with USCIS if based on a valid selected registration.
A petitioner is only eligible to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition if they electronically registered the beneficiary in the H-1B registration process and USCIS selected the registration submitted for the beneficiary through the random selection process.
The H-1B electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system. Nearly 275,000 unique registrations were submitted during the initial registration period. Roughly 46% of all registrations were for prospective beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees. There were more than 40,000 registration accounts created, and nearly 81% of submitted registrations were for potential beneficiaries from India (67.7%) and China (13.2%). Prior to the launch of the electronic registration system, USCIS conducted robust public outreach to ensure users were equipped to effectively use the new system.
“The new H-1B electronic registration system has been an overall success. As a result of this modernized process, the amount of paper and data exchanged between USCIS and petitioners will dramatically decrease this year,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “The positive feedback received by users of the H-1B registration system, the limited amount of technical issues experienced during the registration period, and the ability to immediately respond to questions from registrants was the result of a comprehensive effort developed over the course of more than a year. This new registration system is one of many ways USCIS is improving the H-1B program.”
An H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed within the period indicated on the relevant registration selection notice. The period for filing the H-1B cap-subject petition will be at least 90 days. Online filing is not available for H-1B petitions, so petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions must do so by paper. Petitioners must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.
Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still establish eligibility for petition approval at the time the petition is filed and through adjudication, based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements. Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.
Please contact us here at Savitz Law today so that we may assist you in filing your H-1B cases that have been selected in the H-1B registration lottery.
USCIS Announces H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed For FY 2021
March 27, 2020
According to USCIS:
USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted. We intend to notify petitioners with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
Registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration (that is, for each beneficiary registered):
Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will be Selected, Not Selected, or Denied.
Selected: Selected to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.
Denied: A duplicate registration was submitted by the same registrant for the same beneficiary, or a payment method was declined and not reconciled. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations you submitted for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
Only petitioners with selected registrations may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021, and only for the beneficiary in the applicable selected registration notice. The filing period is between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.
Please contact us here at Savitz Law so that we may assist you in filing your H-1B cases that have been selected in the H-1B registration lottery.
How To Create An H-1B Registrant Account For The New Electronic Registration Process
In order to create an H-1B Registrant account, please use the following steps:
Enter your email address into the email and email confirmation fields and click on the “Sign Up” button.
Next, you will be prompted to create a password. Please write down your password to minimize potential issues regarding resetting your password.
After setting your password, you will be asked to choose your preferred two-step verification method.
You will then receive a message from USCIS via your preferred method of verification with a code for you to enter into the box on your screen. Enter the code and click submit.
You will then see a two-step verification backup code. Follow the instructions and store the backup code somewhere safe in case you are ever locked out of your account.
Next, you will be prompted to set and answer 5 password reset security questions. Select your desired questions from the drop-down menu and type in your answers. Please write down or print out the answers you filled in. Forgetting the answers to the questions will result in you having to call USCIS in order to recover your account if you forget your password at any point during the registration period.
At this point, you will be asked to select an account type. Please only select “I am an H-1B registrant”.
You have now successfully set up your account.
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.
According to USCIS:
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 attorney in the U.S., specializing in H-1B visas & other business immigration law needs.