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The USCIS will implement the H-1B ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION PROCESS for the FY 2021 H-1B Cap

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

If a US company intends to employ a foreign national (“an H-1B beneficiary”) who has not previously been counted against the H-1B Cap in the last six years, then the H-1B Petition that the U.S. company files for the foreign national, will be subject to the H-1B Cap.


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a quota of 65,000 cap-subject H-1B visas each fiscal year. 20,000 H-1B visas are available to foreign nationals who hold a Master's degree or higher from a US institution of higher education.


This year, the USCIS recently announced that it has officially changed the process to file H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions by implementing the new H-1B Electronic Registration Process.


In previous years, the USCIS would accept complete H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions during the first five business days of April (until the quota was reached), and then conduct the H-1B Cap Lottery (a random selection process), to choose which petitions would be processed, and then mail the unselected/rejected H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions back to the attorney-of-record.


This year, the H-1B Electronic Registration Process will be implemented. At this time, the USCIS has not published complete and final instructions for petitioners. The USCIS stated that they will provide complete instructions closer to the registration period.


The H-1B Electronic Registration Process will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions, to first electronically register with the USCIS during a designated registration period and pay a $10 nonrefundable fee for each H-1B Cap-Subject Case to be registered.


The registration period will be from March 1, 2020 through March 20, 2020.


The registration process will most likely require the company to provide the following information:

(a) the petitioner’s name, FEIN and mailing address;

(b) the petitioner’s authorized representative’s name, job title and contact information;

(c) the beneficiary’s full name, date of birth, country of citizenship, gender and passport number;

(d) if the beneficiary has obtained a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution; and

(e) information regarding the petitioner’s attorney.


After the registration period is complete, the USCIS will then run the H-1B Cap Lottery (if the quota is met) based on these submitted registrations. The H-1B Cap Lottery will be run no later than March 31, 2020.


If a registration for a beneficiary is selected in the lottery, the USCIS will notify the petitioner and the attorney-of-record that the petitioner is eligible to file an H-1B Cap-Subject Petition on behalf of the selected beneficiary within a designated filing period.


The notice of selection will indicate where to file the petition and the designated 90-day filing period during which the H-1B Cap-Subject Petition must be filed.


Petitioners will be provided a period of at least 90 days to file a complete H-1B Cap-Subject Petition for the selected beneficiary.