- Why is USCIS implementing an Electronic Registration process for cap-subject petitions for FY 2021?
The electronic registration is intended to simplify the process of applying for a cap-subject petition by submitting a registration form online. In previous years USCIS has required Employers to submit an entire petition. By utilizing an online registration Employers will only need to submit a complete petition for those petitions that are actually selected in the lottery. This should ultimately save Employers time and money and cut down on the amount of paperwork involved in the preparation of petitions.
- When is the registration period?
The registration period will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020.
- When will I be notified if my case is selected in the H-1B lottery?
USCIS has indicated that they will inform employers/ authorized representatives by no later than March 31, 2020. Employers/ authorized representatives will receive an electronic notification that a case has been selected.
- What is the fee for submitting an Electronic Registration?
USCIS is charging $10.00 per registration.
- Can the Beneficiary pay the Electronic Registration fee, or must this be paid by the Employer?
The registration fee must be paid by the Employer.
- What website will USCIS be utilizing for the Electronic Registration process?
Based on the information available it is believed that USCIS will use the “myUSCIS online” portal to host the electronic registration process. Although the website currently lists “H-1B Registration” on the list of forms that can be filed online, the website does not currently allow registrations to be prepared.
- What information will be required for the Electronic Registration?
The electronic registration form will request basic information about the petitioning organization and information about the beneficiary to include whether the candidate in question has a Master’s degree and is requesting consideration under the Master’s quota. As of now, it does not appear that any information about the offered position such as job title, minimum requirements or wages will be required.
- Will an attestation be required as part of the Electronic Registration process?
Yes, the petitioning organization or their authorized representative will be required to certify under penalty of perjury that all of the information submitted is correct and, if selected, that the petitioning organization will submit an H-1B petition on behalf of the named beneficiary. By providing this attestation, petitioning organizations are confirming to USCIS that they have a bonafide opportunity available for the beneficiary in question and intend to file a petition.
- Will there be any consequences for petitioning organizations that file a registration but later choose not to submit a petition?
USCIS has not yet indicated the exact consequences, save to say that Employers who demonstrate a pattern and practice of submitting registrations, but who do not file petitions following selection, could be subject to monetary fines or criminal penalties. It is therefore critical that Employers only submit online registrations for candidates who they intend to file a completed application for.
- Will an LCA be required as part of the registration process?
Although an LCA is not required, it is anticipated that a large number of Employers will elect to file an LCA at the time of submitting the electronic registration, so that once they receive notification that the case has been selected they can then move more quickly to filing the petition with USCIS. Those who choose not to file an LCA upfront will have to wait at least 7-10 days after selection until the LCA is certified before they can file. Those filing early based on a previously filed LCA are likely to experience faster adjudication times compared to those who wait to file the LCA after being notified of the selection.
- When can selected applicants start filing petitions?
Selected applicants should be able to start filing petitions on April 1, 2020. Those who have elected not to file an LCA before-hand will have to wait until the LCA is certified prior to filing. USCIS has stated that petitioning organizations will have 90 days in which to file from the date of the registration selection.
- Will a G-28 be required if the Electronic Registration is submitted by an Attorney?
Yes, all Attorneys submitting electronic registrations on behalf of their clients will need to submit a properly completed G-28 form via the online portal.
- Will it be possible to draft the electronic registration prior to March 1?
USCIS has indicated that it will allow employers and authorized representatives to prepare electronic registrations prior to the registration period. We expect USCIS to provide more information regarding this in the next coming weeks.
- Will premium processing be available for FY 2021 cap-subject petitions?
USCIS has not yet said whether they will allow premium processing for cap-subject petitions.
Please note that the information above is based on the limited information which USCIS has made available at the time of writing this article. We will update this page as and when USCIS makes more information available.