U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed a pilot-testing phase and is implementing an electronic registration process for the next H-1B lottery. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2021 cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee. USCIS will open an initial registration period from March 1 through March 20, 2020.
Under the new process, USCIS said, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap, or their authorized representatives, will complete a registration process that requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker. After the initial registration period, the H-1B random selection process, if needed, will be run on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The agency may determine that it is necessary to continue accepting registrations, or open an additional registration period, if it does not receive enough registrations and subsequent petitions projected to reach the numerical allocations.
USCIS said it will post step-by-step instructions on its website along with key dates and timelines as the initial registration period nears. USCIS will also conduct public engagements and other outreach activities.