It’s official. Yesterday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register formally implementing the mandatory registration requirement for H1B petitioners seeking to file a cap-subject petition for Fiscal Year 2021. The notice went into effect on January 9, 2019, the date of publication.
Beginning March 1, 2020, before a petitioner can file an H-1B cap-subject petition, including petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, the petitioner must first electronically register with USCIS. Only petitioners with a valid registration selection will be eligible to file an H-1B petition with USCIS.
The initial registration period for FY 2021 will open on March 1, 2020 and is expected to close on March 20, 2020. The actual end date will be provided on the USCIS website.
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 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.
What happens after the registration period closes?
Once the registration period closes, USCIS will conduct the initial selection process.
If more than a sufficient number of registrations are received, USCIS 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.
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. Selected registrants are expected to receive notification no later than March 31, 2020.
Please note that 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.
How to Register
Petitioners must register for an online account on the USCIS website. As we get closer to the registration period, USCIS will provide step-by-step registration 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 may begin setting up their accounts on the USCIS 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.
A petitioner or its authorized representative must electronically submit a separate registration request naming each individual it seeks to petition for a cap-subject H-1B. Petitioners will be able to register multiple individuals in a single online session.
The electronic system will allow for a filer to prepare, edit and store the record in their account prior to final payment and submission. A petitioner may only submit one registration per beneficiary in any fiscal year.
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.
For more information about the registration requirement please click here.