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H-1B Cap Registration To Take Effect for Upcoming Cap Season

The long-anticipated H-1B cap registration system will be in place for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap season, according to an announcement from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today. The initial H-1B cap registration period will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020, and selected cases may be submitted starting April 1. 

A formal announcement of the registration period and process for submitting cap entries will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

H-1B cap registration in brief

As a reminder, the H-1B registration requirement requires employers seeking to file H-1B cap cases to first register online in order to enter the H-1B lottery. Employers will then be permitted to file full H-1B petitions for registrations that are selected in the lottery, during a filing period of at least 90 days. A $10 non-refundable registration fee will be required for each H-1B cap registration at the time of submission. Batch registrations and payments will be accepted in the online portal.

The regulation announcing the new system was finalized in early 2019, but implementation was postponed so the system could be developed and tested. In today’s announcement, USCIS states that it has completed a pilot testing phase that included sessions with industry representatives.

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

Employers and foreign nationals can now prepare for registration to be implemented in the upcoming cap season, keeping in mind that all potential H-1B employees should be identified with enough advance notice to register in March. 

Additional details about the registration system and filing timelines will become available in the coming weeks. USCIS has also stated it will provide on its website step-by-step instructions for completing the registration process, and that it will conduct public engagements and other outreach activities in advance of the initial registration period.

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