On December 6, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advised that it intends to implement previously-announced new procedures for “pre-registering” H-1B cap filings for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap. DHS had previously published a Final Rule that requires petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pre-register electronically with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Only petitions selected under the pre-registration process will thereafter be filed during a subsequent application period that USCIS will designate.
According to the latest announcement, under this new process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap, or their authorized representatives, will complete a registration process that will require only basic information about their company and each requested worker. USCIS will open an initial registration period from March 1 through March 20, 2020. USCIS will then run a random selection process on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Further details have not yet been provided, but USCIS promises that it will post step-by-step instructions on how to complete the registration process, along with key dates and timelines, on its website as the initial registration period nears. USCIS has previously indicated that prospective employer/petitioners will pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. They will only be permitted to submit one pre-registration per prospective individual H-1B worker.
Finnan, Fleischut & Associates will continue to keep our clients advised of important developments in this area. If you have specific questions about how these developments affect a current or possible future situation, please contact us.