USCIS Announces Earlier Registration & Lottery Process for H-1B Visas
On Jan. 9, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the implementation of the H-1B visa registration process for H-1B cap subject individuals. The H-1B program allows companies in the U.S. to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations of highly specialized knowledge. There is a congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, and an extra 20,000 visas for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
The initial registration period will start on March 1, 2020, and USCIS intends to close this registration period on March 20, 2020. Petitioners must register using an online account at www.uscis.gov. Employers and their authorized representatives can set up these accounts before the registration period. Petitioners must electronically submit a separate registration request for each person it seeks to petition for a cap-subject H-1B visa, and the cost is $10 per registration. A petitioner may only submit one registration per beneficiary. USCIS will notify registrants with selected registrations from the initial registration period no later than March 31, 2020. Petitioners with selected registrations will able to file a complete H-1B cap-subject petition within the filing period indicated on the notice. In prior years, petitioners submitted complete applications on April 1st for the H-1B visa lottery.