USCIS Announces H1B Pre-Registration Parameters
Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
In 2020 USCIS implemented an electronic registration process for the H-1B Lottery to meet the H1B cap on the number of visas allotted. Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and then pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.
We have seen from last year’s implementation that the electronic registration process has streamlined processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, and has provided overall cost savings to employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. We basically do not have to prepare and file a full H1B petition until the matter is selected by USCIS through the random selection.
Under this process, prospective petitioners (also known as registrants), and their authorized representatives, who are seeking authorization to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, complete a registration process that requires only basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker.
The initial registration period for FY 2022 will open at noon Eastern Time (ET) on March 9 and run through noon ET on March 25. Both representatives and registrants must wait until March 9 to create and complete H-1B registrations, IT CANNOT be done before the start date and time. USCIS has committed to opening the initial registration period for a minimum of 14 calendar days each fiscal year. The H-1B selection process will then be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only the candidates with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Selections will take place after the initial registration period closes, so there is no requirement to register on the day the initial registration period opens. And no matter what date in that period your choose to register, everyone will have the same opportunity based on criteria in the selection process. March 31st is the expected day when 1st batch of H1Bs selected will be announced and cases will generally have 90 days from selection to file their H1B petition. April 1st being the first date for filing.
If cases that were selected do not file H1B petitions, then those cases will be determined to have been abandoned and the numbers left over will be used in a round 2 selection. Similarly, if a petition is filed based on selection and is denied then that visa number can also be allocated for a Round 2 or Round 3 batch. NO DUPLICATE REGISTRATIONS SHOULD BE FILED! If a duplicate registration is found to have occurred than both will be deemed to be invalidated.
USCIS intends to notify registrants and their representatives with selected registrations via their USCIS online accounts no later than March 31, 2021.
A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the following statuses for each registration:
- Submitted:The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.
- Selected:Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
- Not Selected:Not selected – not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration.
- Denied:Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment:A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or otherwise invalid.
For any questions of concerns, please do contact an experienced immigration professional.