USCIS Confirms the Implementation of H-1B Pre-registration for The Fiscal Year 2021

Published On
Dec 13, 2019
Read Time
3 Minutes

With the fast-approaching H-1B season, USCIS is now announcing all the latest improvements and updates in the H-1B process. After announcing the $10 registration fee, USCIS has now released the updates about the implementation of H-1B pre-registration for the FY 2021.

Earlier in January 2019, USCIS has announced the electronic registration for petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions. But haven't confirmed the implementation of the same. Now, clearing the confusion of petitioners, USCIS has announced the completion of pilot testing for H-1B pre-registration. It even confirmed the implementation of this process for the FY 2021, opening an initial registration period from March 1 - March 20, 2020.

"The agency completed a successful pilot testing phase, which included sessions with industry representatives, and implementation of the registration system will further the goal of modernizing USCIS from a paper-based to an online-filing agency," said USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans. 

This H-1B pre-registration process is adding in many new aspects to the overall registration process. So, USCIS will soon post step-by-step instructions to create awareness about the completion of the registration process.

However, here are the important details involved in the overall process from H-1B pre-registration to adjudication.

H-1B Pre-registration

The new process for filing H-1B petitions mandates petitioners to pre-register H-1B for the prospective beneficiaries. Unlike earlier, this new H-1B pre-registration process requires only the basic details of the organization and the requested employee.

H-1B Pre-registration Fee

H-1B pre-registration mandates a $10 registration fee from the petitioner for each registration. Petitioners can submit only one registration per beneficiary. If USCIS finds multiple registrations for the same beneficiary for the same employer, all those registrations will be deemed invalid.

Reaching the Cap

If the registered petitions reach the cap, USCIS will close the registration period and will randomly select a sufficient number of registrations needed to meet the cap. USCIS stated that, if in case the initially registered petitions don't meet the cap, it would implement a second phase for registration. But, the chances are very low considering the number of petitions received during the previous years.

Random Selection Process

Following the existing random selection process, USCIS will conduct a random selection on all the petitions including the Regular cap and advanced degree exemption. 65,000 petitions will be selected from these petitions. The left-out advanced degree exemption petitions would be added for the second lottery, while the Regular cap petitions remain unselected. The Master's cap petitions are then subjected to the second lottery out of which 20,000 petitions are selected.

Response from USCIS

Upon completion of the random selection, USCIS will notify the petitioners about the selected petitions. Only those petitioners with selected registrations can file the H-1B petitions.

Filing the H-1B petitions

After receiving the response from USCIS, petitioners will have a 90-day period for filing the petition. This is a change to the earlier mentioned 60 days, as DHS received public comments stating that 60 days is insufficient time for a company to gather beneficiary's documentation.

Overall, with the new H-1B pre-registration, unselected petitioners will experience cost savings relative to the current H-1B cap-subject petitioning process. Though the new H-1B pre-registration system is bringing in significant changes to the system, proper implementation of it will make the H-1B process more efficient and effective.
What do you think about the H-1B pre-registration process? Do let us know in the comments below.

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