FY 2021 H-1B Registration Process: Important Information and Dates
With H-1B cap season fast approaching, it’s important to be aware of the significant changes in the lottery process and important dates. While in previous years, Petitioners were required to file full H-1B Petitions by mail in order to enter into the lottery, this year the new H-1B Electronic Registration Process will allow Petitioners to register online using a My USCIS Account and the lottery process will take place electronically. The Electronic Registration Process requires basic information about the Petitioner and Beneficiary. Only Beneficiaries selected in the Electronic Registration Process are eligible to file full H-1B Petitions with USCIS. H-1B eligibility requirements for criteria such as Specialty Occupation remain the same as previous years once a Beneficiary is selected. This process is meant to streamline the lottery process, and cut down on unnecessary paperwork and mailing fees.
H-1B Electronic Registration will be open from March 1, 2020 at 12 pm ET through March 20, 2020 at 12 pm ET.Petitioners (or their representatives) must file a registration for each beneficiary by the end of this period. Multiple Beneficiaries (up to 250) may be included on one registration for the same Petitioner. Duplicate registrations will be denied, so take care not to file a registration for the same Beneficiary twice. Prior to submission, the Petitioner is required to pay a $10 Fee for each Beneficiary included in the registration. This can be paid using a credit card or a bank account withdrawal. Once filed, the status of each registration will show that it has been “Submitted”. Each Beneficiary will be assigned a unique number.
Starting February 24, 2020 Petitioners will be able to set up their My USCIS online account. Petitioner’s should set up their account as an “H-1B Registrant”. Although accounts may be set up starting February 24, 2020 Petitioner’s will not be able to begin registration until the Registration Period opens on March 1, 2020.If a Beneficiary’s registration is selected in the lottery, the status will change to “Selected”. Selected Beneficiaries will be provided with an “Eligibility Notice” which will contain important information regarding filing the H-1B Petition. This notice will include the 90 day period during which the Petitioner is eligible to file an H-1B Petition on behalf of the selected Beneficiary, as well as the address where the Petition should be mailed. Petitioners should place a copy of this notice on top of their H-1B Petition. USCIS states that the intended start date for filing H-1B Petitions will be April 1, 2020.