Immigration Blog

Avoid Common Mistakes with H-1B Electronic Registration

By Bill at March 12, 2021 19:07
Filed Under: Immigration News, Tips and Features

The initial registration period for FY2022 H-1B cap has opened on March 9 and will run through noon (ET) on March 25. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registration.

According to USCIS and attorney feedback, following are the most common reasons for rejections of fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap subject petitions.

  • Incorrect Start Date: If your selected registration was submitted during the initial registration period of March9 to March 25, you must indicate a start date of October 1, 2021 on your petition.
  • Incorrect Fees: $10 for each registration. Each registration is for a single beneficiary.
  • Incorrect Filing Date:Pay attention to the filing window identified on the selection notice. File your petition as early as possible within the 90-day window.
  • Duplicate Entries:A prospective petitioner may only have one registration submitted per beneficiary per fiscal year.
  • Wrong Type of Account:There are three types of USCIS online accounts:
    1.Applicant/petitioner/requestor account: Individuals use this type of account to prepare and file applications, petitions or other benefit requests. You cannot use this account type to prepare or submit H-1B registrations.
    2.Attorney/representative account: If you are an attorney or accredited representative submitting H-1B registrations on behalf of a prospective petitioner, select this option. You will also be able to submit Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.
    3.Registrant account: This is the account that a prospective petitioner must create in order participate in the H-1B registration process, regardless of whether the prospective petitioner will be using an attorney or accredited representative to submit the registration.

Important Dates:
March 9: H-1B registration period opens at noon ET.
March 25: H-1B registration period closes at noon ET.
March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.
April 1: The earliest date that FY 2022 H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed.

Selections will take place after the initial registration period closes, so there is no requirement to register on the day the initial registration period opens. For more information about the H-1B program, visit our H-1B Specialty Occupations web page.

DHS Announces Final Rule for a More Effective and Efficient H-1B Visa Program

By Bill at February 08, 2019 18:08
Filed Under: Immigration News

Final Rule Effective Beginning April 1, 2019 

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted today for public inspection, a final rule amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season. 

“These simple and smart changes are a positive benefit for employers, the foreign workers they seek to employ, and the agency’s adjudicators, helping the H-1B visa program work better,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “The new registration system, once implemented, will lower overall costs for employers and increase government efficiency. We are also furthering President Trump’s goal of improving our immigration system by making a simple adjustment to the H-1B cap selection process. As a result, U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign workers with a U.S. master’s or higher degree will have a greater chance of selection in the H-1B lottery in years of excess demand for new H-1B visas.”

Effective April 1, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions (or registrations, once the registration requirement is implemented) submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations. Specifically, the change will result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions for FY 2020 on April 1, 2019. The reverse selection order will apply to petitions filed for the FY 2020 H-1B cap season. Petitioners may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary. USCIS will provide H-1B cap filing instruction on in advance of the filing season.

Importantly, after considering public feedback, USCIS will be suspending the electronic registration requirement for the FY 2020 cap season to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional. Once implemented, the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. USCIS expects that the electronic registration requirement, once implemented, will reduce overall costs for petitioners and create a more efficient and cost-effective H-1B cap petition process for USCIS and petitioners.

Additionally, USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation of the H-1B registration process in advance of the cap season in which it will implement the requirement. Prior to implementation, USCIS will conduct outreach to ensure petitioners understand how to access and use the system. Once implemented, USCIS will announce the designated electronic registration period at least 30 days in advance for each fiscal year it is required.

On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued the  Buy American and Hire American Executive Order, instructing DHS to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of U.S. workers in the administration of our immigration system.” The executive order specifically mentioned the H-1B program and directed DHS and other agencies to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”