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The New H-1B Lottery Process at a Glance

December 26, 2019
Chandni Shah

On December 6, 2019, USCIS announced it will be implementing a new online H-1B registration system for the upcoming FY 2021 H-1B cap season. This new registration system will require employers to electronically register applicants prior to filing the complete H-1B petition and pay a $10 registration fee per applicant. Employers will only be required to submit a full H-1B application for those applicants that are selected in the lottery. The new registration process applies only to those employees who are not currently in H-1B status and who have not received an H-1B approval in the past.

Next Steps for Employers

  1. 1. Act Now! Provide MMH with a list of potential H-1B applicants by January 31, 2020. The attorney will need to review to ensure that the position offered and foreign employee are eligible for H-1B status. We’ll need the following to evaluate the viability of the H-1B:
  2. – Job description for the position offered to the prospective H-1B employee
  3. – Terms of the employment (location, salary, benefits, hours, etc.)
  4. – Documents related to the prospective H-1B employee’s education and experience (degree, transcript, resume)
  5. – Document’s related to the prospective H-1B employee’s immigration history
  6. 2. Register Each H-1B Cap-Subject Applicant. Employers will be required to register each foreign national being sponsored for the H-1B visa through USCIS’s new online H-1B registration system and pay a $10 registration fee. USCIS has not yet announced which website or platform it will use to register each H-1B applicant, but we anticipate this being done through the USCIS’s myUSCIS online portal. The initial registration period is from March 1, 2020 to March 20, 2020. The following is a list of required information for each H-1B applicant:
  1. – Full name
  2. – Date of birth
  3. – Country of birth
  4. – Country of citizenship
  5. – Passport number
  6. – Gender
  7. – Employer attestation of bona fide job offer and intention to file an H-1B petition if the applicant is selected

Although the registration does not request information about the job offered, the attorney will have to evaluate the terms of the job offered to ensure that the registration is a bona fide and the position and individual are eligible for the H-1B visa.

  1. 3. File H-1B Cap-Subject Petition. If the applicant/employee is selected in the H-1B lottery, employers will move forward with submitting the complete H-1B petition with USCIS within 90 days of being notified that their registration was selected in the lottery.

Although in previous years, USCIS announced which H-1B cap-subject applicants were selected in the lottery by the end of May, USCIS has not yet announced when the lottery will take place using the new registration system, nor when it anticipates notifying those selected. USCIS will post additional information regarding key dates in the future, such as when the lottery will take place, and whether they will open an additional registration period if the numerical allocations are not filled closer to the initial registration period.

Please contact our firm if you have any questions regarding the new registration system or need assistance in filing your cap-subject H-1B application this upcoming year.

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