Introducing the New H-1B Cap Registration Process

H1B immigration attorney

On January 09, 2020, USCIS officially announced the implementation of the new H-1B registration process for H-1B cap-subject petitions on the Federal Register. Employers seeking to file the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions must first electronically register and pay a non-refundable $10 fee for each registration to enter the H-1B lottery. Employers with selected registrations will then be permitted to file full H-1B petitions during a filing period of at least 90 days.

New H-1B Registration System and Filing Order

Historically, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, employers would file their full petitions with USCIS beginning April 1st, after which USCIS would select eligible petitions through a random lottery process. USCIS would then begin adjudicating the selected petitions and return the unselected petitions to the employers.

Under the new H-1B registration system, employers seeking cap-subject H-1B workers must first register with USCIS within the registration period through an online system that will require only basic information about the employers and the foreign workers and pay a non-refundable $10 registration fee. After the H-1B registration period closes, USCIS will run the H-1B lottery process on those electronic registrations. USCIS will then announce the lottery result and only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.

Got Questions about H-1B filing? CLICK HERE or Call (773) 687-0549 for a Consultation!

When can you start your H-1B process?

As to the online registration system, though it is expected to use the existing platform, USCIS has not provided detailed instructions on how and when employers and their authorized representatives may set up the required online accounts to complete the registration process. From what we know now, employers and authorized representatives can set up their registration accounts before the opening of the registration period and will be able to continue to set up accounts during the registration period. Those accounts are immediately usable to register. We should receive further instructions in the coming weeks from USCIS.

Important H-1B Anticipated Start Dates

H1B Process
  • Registration Start Date: 03/01/2020
  • Registration End Date: 03/20/2020
  • Filing Start Date: 04/01/2020

USCIS announced that the initial registration period will begin on March 1, 2020.  USCIS intends to close the initial registration period on March 20, 2020. USCIS also announced that it intends to notify the lottery result no later than March 31st, 2020, to the selected registrants, and will indicate the dates for filing the actual petition on the notice.

According to the regulation, employers will have at least 90 days to file their selected H-1B cap-subject petitions after the lottery notice. It is anticipated that the petition filing period will begin on April 1, 2020 as this is technically the earliest date anyone can file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021. The filing period of the H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021 would most likely be from April 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

Got Questions about H-1B filing? CLICK HERE or Call (773) 687-0549 for a Consultation!

What H-1B employers need to do now?

H-1B Employers should consider their hiring needs, identify the potential candidates, and gather basic information necessary for initial registration as early as possible. Employers with potential candidates under F-1 OPT status must analyze potential cap-gap issues to ensure uninterrupted employment authorization.  The merits of the H1B petition should be analyzed prior to registration, if selected in the lottery, a strong case should be submitted.  Considering this is USCIS’s first time using this new registration process and its abysmal track record of implementing new technologies, we strongly encourage H-1B employers or employees to plan carefully well ahead of the registration starts.

Contact Cipolla Law Group to guide you through the H1B process

At Cipolla Law Group, we have extensive experience and excellent track record handling H-1b visa petitions. Contact today for an informative consultation.

As USCIS announces additional details and instructions as the initial registration window approaches, we will provide further updates here for you. If your organizations have any questions regarding the upcoming H-1B cap season, please contact our H-1B immigration attorneys today. We have excellent track record on handling H-1B petitions. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Chicago and Lincoln Park area. We look forward to serving you.

Got Questions about H-1B filing? CLICK HERE or Call (773) 687-0549 for a Consultation!