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What is pre-H-1B registration and how will it affect the FY 2021 Cap filings?

Earlier, US employers filed their complete H-1B cap-subject paper petitions with the USCIS, after which, the USCIS would select petitions from the pool through a random selection process.

This practice has changed for the FY 2021 H-1B cap filings. The USCIS has introduced a pre-H-1B electronic registration process.  Under this new process, the petitioning employers seeking to file H-1B petitions for foreign nationals(under both the regular as well as US Master’s cap) must first electronically register each foreign national (beneficiary) by submitting the following basic details about the beneficiary which include:

  • Beneficiary’s Full Name;
  • Beneficiary’s Gender;
  • Beneficiary’s Date of Birth;
  • Beneficiary’s Country of Birth
  • Beneficiary’s Country of Citizenship;
  • Beneficiary’s Passport Number;
  • Whether the Beneficiary has a US master’s or higher degree?

The petitioning employers also need to fill out certain basic information about the company. This pre-registration can be done either by the petitioning employers or by their attorney representatives by setting up accounts on myUSCIS portal.

The pre-H-1B electronic registration process/tool will go live from March 1, 2020 through March 20, 2020. Petitioning US employers will have to pay a $10 non-refundable registration fee for each beneficiary. The USCIS will then run a random lottery and notify the selected registrants. Employers of those selected registrations will get 90 days from April 1, 2020 onward to file their complete H-1B CAP petitions with the USCIS for processing.

The pre-H-1B registration will make the H-1B CAP process more efficient by reducing paperwork and will also considerably reduce costsfor employers, and potentially help the USCIS expedite the H-1B CAP process.

Amit Solanki