U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday that it had completed a pilot program to test its new H-1B registration system. We previously reported, that USCIS has been pushing to implement this new process for the upcoming H-1B lottery season. Because of the new technology and potential for issues, USCIS had decided to not implement the registration requirement for the H-1B cap that was run earlier this year. However, USCIS determined that the testing phase was sufficiently successful for implementation in the upcoming FY2021 H-1B cap.
Therefore, companies seeking to file H-1B petitions in this year’s H-1B lottery must first pay the required fee and provide basic company information, as well as information about each beneficiary to be included in the electronic lottery.
The registration process will go from March 1 through March 20. The lottery selection process will then be run on those electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS plans to continue running a separate lottery for those with advanced U.S. degrees as part of this registration system.
There are still many uncertainties with how this system will work, including the impact it will have on those individuals who need “cap-gap” coverage to continue working. Graham Adair will be reviewing the potential H-1B cases for our clients and providing specific advice on H-1B cap strategy for this coming fiscal year.
In the coming days, USCIS will post additional instructions along with key dates. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Graham Adair representative. For more frequent updates, please follow us on Twitter (@GrahamAdairLaw).