2020 Changes to the H-1B Registration Process

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2020 | Employment Immigration

The H-1B temporary specialty occupation visa figured prominently in immigration-related reporting this year. Given the current spotlighting of the visa (particulars, potential restrictions and more), it is now important more than ever to have competent immigration counsel working on your or your employee’s H-1B matter.

The H-1B registration process has been materially altered from prior years, and this year, attorneys and petitioners are experiencing firsthand the bifurcation of the H-1B lottery selection and adjudication process.

The 2021 fiscal year H-1B registration process

This year, the USCIS implemented an electronic registration process to “dramatically streamline [and otherwise improve] processing.”

Regulators say it will do so in these two ways:

  • By reducing paperwork requirements and an exchange of data for registrants
  • Through cost savings for representative employers

In summary:

  1. All employers must register within the registration period (this year, it was between March 1 and March 20, 2020) with basic, but important information about the company and about the beneficiary, including whether the petition falls under the Regular Cap or Master’s Cap.
  2. Cases will be then randomly selected and notice of selection sent to registrants
  3. After selection, if the case is selected, petitioners will have 90 days within which to file the complete petition with the USCIS

A submitted registration will remain under consideration until completion of the fiscal year, meaning if the case is not immediately selected after close of the registration period, it is possible that it may be selected if other selected cases are otherwise withdrawn.

In recent years, H-1B petitions have been met with stricter scrutiny. It has become more important than ever to secure the assistance of an experienced national immigration law office. If you are interested in entering an upcoming fiscal year lottery, we recommend reaching out to our offices no later than February of that given year. The Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney has experience in handling non-cap subject H-1B petitions, including those looking to extend their H-1B status, those amending their H-1B petitions, or candidates who will work for qualifying nonprofit organizations.

This information is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney and anyone else. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice based on an individual or organization’s particular facts and circumstances, and it should not be considered as such.