The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has formally announced that it will implement the new H-1B registration final rule for Fiscal Year 2021.
The H-1B registration system will involve an initial electronic registration process, in which employers may register for potential H-1B workers to be entered into the annual H-1B cap lottery. Those whose registrations are selected will then be permitted to file H-1B petitions to be considered on the merits for issuance of H-1B visas.
USCIS has announced the following details regarding the new electronic system:
- The initial electronic registration period will open on March 1, 2020 and remain open until March 20, 2020
- Employers must submit separate registrations for each potential H-1B worker they wish to sponsor
- Each registration will require payment of a $10 H-1B registration fee
- If a sufficient number of registrations are received by March 20, 2020, USCIS will conduct a random lottery to select which of the registrations will be permitted to file an H-1B petition for consideration and will notify employers by March 31, 2020 of selection in the lottery
- The lottery selection notification will provide the deadline by which the H-1B petition must be received, with a minimum of 90 days provided
- USCIS may extend the registration period if an insufficient number of registrations are received in the initial period
The online system that USCIS will use to complete the registration process is not yet available for the public to review.
USCIS has previously stated that it intended to implement the new registration system for this fiscal year, but this marks the formal announcement that the process will be implemented for this year.
For additional details regarding the annual H-1B cap and lottery system, see our prior blog post here.