In case you have missed it, USCIS announced on January 10, 2020 that employers seeking to file FY2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay an associated $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS.
Who Must Register
H-1B cap-subject petitioners, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, seeking to file a FY 2021 H-1B cap petition must register. A maximum of 65,000 H-1B non-immigrant visas are issued per fiscal year, counted from October 1 to September 30. Additionally, the Omnibus bill exempts up to 20,000 foreign nationals with a master’s degree or higher from U.S. institute of higher education from the H-1B cap.
H-1B cap exempt petitions including change of employer, concurrent, or extension petitions are not required to electronically register.
When to Register
The online registration process will require only basic information about the petitioning company and each requested worker. The initial registration period will start on March 1, 2020 and end on March 20, 2020. Employers and their representatives will be able to set up required registration accounts prior to March 1. USCIS will announce the actual end date of the initial registration period on its website. USCIS will then run a random selection process on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS will notify registrants with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020. USCIS will also notify the filing period for each selected 2021 cap-subject petition for the alien named in the registration.
How to Register
Petitioners must register using an online account. USCIS will provide step-by-step instructions on its website at www.uscis.gov. Employers and authorized representatives may start setting up their registration accounts in advance of the registration period opening. USCIS will post the date that employers and authorized representatives may start setting up accounts on its website. Employers and authorized representatives will be able to continue to set up accounts during the registration period and may immediately use those accounts to register.
If a petitioner submits more than one registration for the same beneficiary in the same fiscal year, USCIS will consider all registrations filed by that petitioner for that beneficiary for that fiscal year invalid.
We anticipate that access of the new H-1B lottery registration will be through the myUSCIS portal when it opens.
USCIS will post step-by-step instructions on how to complete the registration process, along with key dates and timelines, on its website as the initial registration period nears. Watch this blog for updates.