USCIS announced that it is implementing the registration process for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced-degree exemption, for FY2021. Such employers must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee before filing a petition for H-1B visa status for a beneficiary. If approved, the visa would become available on October 1, 2020. The registration period is from March 1 to March 20, 2020.
During the initial registration period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically submit a separate registration naming each foreign national for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. If a sufficient number of registrations are received, USCIS will randomly select the number of registrations projected as needed to reach the H-1B numerical allocations after the initial registration period closes, but no later than March 31, 2020. Prospective petitioners with selected registrations will be eligible to file a cap-subject petition only for the foreign national named in the registration. Moreover, USCIS will not consider a cap-subject petition properly filed unless it is based on a valid registration selection for the same beneficiary and in the appropriate fiscal year. Although petitioner-employers can register multiple foreign nationals during a single online submission, duplicate registrations for the same beneficiary in the same fiscal year will be discarded. The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. After the petitioner is notified that the registration has been selected, the petitioner will have at least 90 days to submit a completed H-1B petition with supporting documentation.
While the online registration form has not yet been formally released to the public, preliminary screenshots of a beta form have been posted, and indicate that only basic information about the petitioner-employer and each requested foreign national worker will be required to complete a registration.