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H-1B Cap Electronic Registration Implementation

December 10, 2019

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

USCIS has announced implementation of the H-1B electronic registration process for Fiscal Year 2021 Cap Season. Under this new process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the annual numerical cap, or their authorized representatives, will be required to complete a registration process that requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exception, must first electronically register and pay the $10 H-1B registration fee.

USCIS will open an initial registration period from March 1, 2020, through March 20, 2020. During this time, employers 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. Although employers can register multiple aliens during a single online submission, duplicate registrations for the same beneficiary in the same fiscal year will be discarded.

If a sufficient number of registrations are received, USCIS will randomly select the number of registrations projected as needed to reach the H-1B numerical allocations after the initial registration period closes and no later than March 31, 2020. Employers with selected registrations will then be eligible to file a cap-subject petition only for the alien named in the registration selected by USCIS.

In prior announcements, USCIS has indicated those selected would then be issued a “license” (our word, not theirs) that would allow the employer to submit an H-1B application within a specified period. If this remains part of the new protocol, the annual rush to file petitions in the first five business days of April could be a thing of the past.

USCIS will provide guidance on how to use the system and prepare registrations before opening it for the initial registration period. We will provide updated information on forthcoming guidance as soon as it becomes available.

For more information about this and other immigration issues, please contact the author of this alert, James G. Aldrich, Jr., at jaldrich@dykema.com or 248-203-0583.

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