All About the H-1B Electronic Registration Requirement: When and Where to Register and More…


Are you ready for the upcoming H1B season for fiscal year 2021?

With the registration period fast approaching, we want to make sure you know everything there is to know about the new mandatory H-1B electronic registration process for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021).

The following FAQ provides the most up to date information regarding the mandatory electronic registration requirement.


H-1B Registration Process Timeline

Feb. 24: Prospective petitioners may begin creating H-1B registrant accounts (account creation will remain open throughout the entire registration period). Representatives may create an account at any time.

March 1: H-1B registration period opens at noon ET.

March 20: H-1B registration period closes at noon ET.

March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.

April 1: The earliest date that FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed.


Q: What is the electronic registration requirement?

A: In order to participate in the upcoming H-1B lottery, prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.

Only those petitioners who have submitted an electronic registration and have received a “Selected” registration notification may properly file an H-1B cap-subject petition for FY 2021.

Q: Who can register?

A: Prospective petitioners (also known as registrants) and their authorized representatives who are seeking authorization to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, must complete the registration process. The registration process requires only basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker.

Q: When do I register?

A: The initial registration period for the FY 2021 cap will open at noon ET on March 1, 2020 and remain open through noon ET on March 20, 2020.

Prospective petitioners and their representatives may create accounts beginning February 24, 2020 and submit their registrations from March 1, 2020 to March 20, 2020. Selections will take place after the initial registration period closes, so there is no requirement to register on March 1, 2020.

Q: Where do I register?

A: In order to submit an H-1B registration, you must first create a USCIS online account and submit your registration via your online account.

Prospective petitioners (also known as registrants) will use a new “registrant” account that will be available beginning February 24, 2020.

That means that prospective petitioners and their authorized representatives may create a USCIS account as soon as February 24, 2020, but representatives and registrants must wait until March 1st to create and complete H-1B registrations.

Q: Is there a registration fee?

A: Yes, there is a $10 non-refundable registration fee for each beneficiary.

Q: When will the lottery take place?

A: If USCIS receives submissions in excess of the 65,000/20,000 annual numerical limitations for the regular cap and advanced degree exemption, USCIS will use electronic submissions to conduct the randomized lottery. This lottery would take place after the initial registration closing period (March 20, 2020).

Q: When will I know if I have been selected?

A: USCIS has stated that they intend to notify registrants and their representatives of their selection via their USCIS online accounts no later than March 31, 2020.

Q: How will I know if I am selected?

A: Once the selection process is completed, USCIS will send electronic notices to all registrants with selected registrations that are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of the individual named in the notice within the filing period indicated on the notice.

Account holders who submitted the selected registration will be notified of selection via email or text message stating that an action has been added to their account. Account holders will need to log in to see the full notice and determine whether they have been selected. Selected registrants are expected to receive notification no later than March 31, 2020.

Only 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.

A registrant’s USCIS online account will show the following status for each registration that has been “selected:”

Selected: Selected to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.

Q: If I am selected when can I file my H1B petition?

A: You may file the H1B petition for the alien named in the registration period within the filing period indicated on the eligibility notice.

Q: How will I know if I have not been selected?

A: Registrants and representatives will not be notified until the end of the fiscal year if they are not selected. The status of registrations not selected as part of any initial random selection process and not denied will remain as “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.

  • Please note that a registration will not reflect a status of Not Selected until the conclusion of the fiscal year. In the event that USCIS determines that it needs to increase the number of registrations projected to meet the H-1B regular cap or the advanced degree exemption allocation, USCIS will select from registrations held in “reserve” to meet the H-1B regular cap or advanced degree exemption allocation.

Q: Can I submit more than one registration for a beneficiary for the same fiscal year?

A: No, the same registrant or representative may not submit more than one registration on the beneficiary’s behalf for the same fiscal year. These submissions will be considered “invalid” and denied.

For more information about the electronic registration requirement please click here.