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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made an announcement that the H-1B cap electronic registration process would be implemented for the fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap season. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions will be required to first electronically register and pay a $10 H-1B registration fee before filing an H-1B cap-subject petition for FY 2021.

When is the initial registration period?

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

What happens during the initial registration period?

During this period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically submit a separate registration naming each alien for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap-subject petition with the associated $10 registration fee. 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 closing of the initial registration period and no later than March 31, 2020. Prospective petitioners with selected registrations will then be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition only for the foreign national named in the selected registration.

What happens after the initial registration period?

After the registrations have been selected, prospective petitioners will have a filing period of at least 90 days starting on April 1, 2020 to file the full H-1B cap-subject petitions.

Further information

USCIS has also stated that batch registrations and payments will be accepted in the online portal for multiple registrations. However, duplicate registrations for the same beneficiary in the same fiscal year will be discarded. USCIS will provide step-by-step instructions of how to complete the registration process on its website along with key dates and timelines as the initial registration period approaches. USCIS will also conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure registrants and interested parties are familiar with the new registration system. The United States Department of Homeland Security plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register in the coming weeks to formally announce the implementation of the H-1B cap registration system and provide additional details.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any further questions regarding this matter.