USCIS recently announced a final rule on H-1B registration as part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States. A summary of the changes to policy are detailed below.
Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens:
As per the new order, first 65,000 ppetitions are selected for regular cap quota from the entire pool of applications. Then, 20,000 master’s petitions are selected to meet the Advanced/ US master’s degree quota cap. In other words, the previous order has been reversed
The amendment requires petitioners (employers) seeking to file H-1B petitions subject to the cap, to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The rule was finalized in January 2019. However, the registration system wasn’t ready for implementation for FY 2020. It will be implemented this year for FY 2021.
H-1B Registration Period Start Date and Duration:
USCIS will announce the H-1B registration period at least 30 calendar days before the start of the registration for employers to be prepared.
The registration period will have a window of at least 14 calendar days. USCIS will announce on its website the final registration date for that fiscal year.
Registration may be open for longer as needed based on projections of registrations.
USCIS may re-open registration in certain cases when they do not get required registrations as projected.
Actual Filing Period:
Employers will get 90 days for filing the H-1B petition with USCIS after the selected registrants are informed.
USCIS will time the 90 day duration to file H-1B petitions in such a way that employers can file for H-1B petitions on April 1st, to have the start date of October 1st.
USCIS will not implement the staggered petition filing system as it was in the proposed rule. There will be one date for everyone to file H-1B petitions with USCIS.
Information That Needs to be filled for Registration :
Employer / Sponsor Info: Employer’s Name, Employer Identification Number, Mailing Address, Authorized representative’s name, title, contact info like phone, email.
Beneficiary / Applicant’ General Info: Full name, Gender, Passport number, Date of Birth, Country of Citizenship and Country of Birth.
Beneficiary / Applicant’ US Education Info: Info regarding applicant’s US Master’s or higher education.
Immigration Attorney info: Details of accredited representative and as needed form G-28.
Additional Info: Also, any additional information as required by the new electronic system.
Attestation: H-1B Sponsors / Petitioners are required to attest in the pre-registration system that all the contents of registrations are true and accurate and they plan to employ the beneficiary as submitted in registration.
It’s useful to know what is NOT a requirement for the electronic pre-registration:
USCIS will not require petitioners to enter their corporate information for every beneficiary.
LCA needs to be submitted with the H-1B petition during filing for selected registrants. Also, there is no need to submit wage offered, and other details related to conditions of employment during registration.
Please note: Only one employer can submit one registration for one H-1B applicant or beneficiary. If more than one registration is filed for a beneficiary, then all of those registrations filed for those beneficiaries will be considered invalid. However, USCIS does not prohibit an H-1B applicant or beneficiary to have multiple employers unrelated to each other.
Update on the fees: DHS has published its proposed rule for public comments regarding the H-1B registration fee, indicating that USCIS will charge $10 USD per each registration filed by the employers.
More details about the rule from its origin can be found here.
The best way to make sure that you are making the right decisions and that you are abreast of all the recent changes in policy is to hire the services of a qualified H-1B attorney. We provide counsel and representation to clients across the entire country. As our client, you can count on receiving expert counsel backed by first-hand experience and intimate knowledge of the complex rules you are facing.
Call us at (650) 424-1902.