New H-1B Electronic Visa Registration Process

A new registration process takes effect in March 2020 for the H-1B cap selection which, according to USCIS, will deliver overall cost savings to petitioning employers.

Following completion of a pilot testing phase in 2019, USCIS has confirmed it will be implementing the new electronic registration process in the next H-1B visa lottery for the fiscal year 2021.

Under the new requirement, employers filing H-1B cap-subject petitions must first electronically register and pay the $10 H-1B registration fee.

This includes applications eligible for the advanced degree exemption.

What the new H1-B process means for employers

The introduction of electronic registration will offer streamlined H-1B cap-subject processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, providing overall cost savings to employers, according to USCIS.

Under the previous system, all petitioning employers were required to compile and submit by mail extensive H-1B petitions in order to be eligible for the lottery selection process.

The new electronic processing procedure will require an initial, light-touch registration form to be completed by the petitioning employer for each worker. Should the cap be exceeded and petitions subject to random selection, only those successful in the lottery will be required to build and file a complete H-1B petition.

The registration period will run from March 1 to March 20 2020. However, USCIS has indicated a willingness to consider flexibility where insufficient registrations are received, by for example continuing to accept registrations beyond the March 20 window, or opening an additional registration period.

If you have any queries about the new process and how it will impact your recruitment strategy under the H1-B program, speak to our US immigration specialists.

Last updated: January 14, 2020