USCIS Implements Electronic H-1B Registration Process for Fiscal Year 2021 Cap Season

There are numerous reasons as to why foreign nationals wish to come to the United States. For many, this reason can be work. As most people know, non-citizen of the United States is required to obtain a visa in order to come into the country. There are several different types of visas available to those who require them for work-related reasons. This can include the H-1B visa. 

Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that employees who are petitioning for H-1B registration must pay a fee in order to “modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States.”

What is an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant temporary work visa. It allows employers within the country to temporarily employ foreign workers. It is important to know that this is not for all jobs, only specialty occupations. In order to qualify for this visa, the job has to require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge within a certain field. They must also have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in work experience. The fields that may qualify for an H-1B visa can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Accounting
  • Social sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine and health
  • Education law

Implementing the New Registration Process

In November of this year, the USCIS announced that they will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration that is submitted by petitioning employers once the electronic registration system is implemented. As stated by USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli, “The electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity.” 

On December 6, 2019, the USCIS followed up this plan with the announcement that the pilot testing phase of the new fee was completed successfully and the registration process will be implemented in the next H-1B lottery. Under this new process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap will complete a registration process that requires basic information regarding their company and each requested worker. An initial registration period will open from March 1 to March 20, 2020. If needed, the H-1B random selection process will then be run on those electronic registrations. Only selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. 

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. Immigration is a sensitive issue, which is why you should consider a compassionate, experienced, and aggressive immigration attorney who will guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your circumstances and options.