USCIS’s new online system for H-1B cap registration is now open for employer account creation. If your organization plans to sponsor foreign nationals for H-1B cap employment in FY 2021, it must take steps to set up an account in the USCIS system and provide its legal team with all necessary beneficiary information. Planning ahead will help ensure that your organization can complete the required registration steps by noon ET on March 20, 2020, when the FY 2021 cap registration period will close.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the H-1B cap registration system and the process for setting up registration accounts for your organization.
When can our immigration counsel start preparing and submitting registrations for the FY 2021 cap lottery?
USCIS will open the cap registration period on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at noon ET. Your immigration counsel can begin to draft and submit cap registrations at this time; the USCIS system will not permit the drafting or filing of registrations before March 1.
The registration period will close on March 20, 2020 at noon ET. All registrations for the FY 2021 cap must be submitted by this time. Late registrations will not be accepted.
What beneficiary information must be provided to USCIS in a cap registration?
For each beneficiary, your organization must provide the following:
- Full legal name;
- Date of birth;
- Country of birth;
- Country of citizenship;
- Passport number, if any; and
- Whether the beneficiary is eligible for the U.S. advanced-degree cap, or will be eligible for the advanced-degree cap at the time a petition is filed on the beneficiary’s behalf.
The sponsoring entity can submit only one registration per H-1B beneficiary; if an entity files more than one registration for a beneficiary, each of those registrations will be canceled and the employer will not be permitted to re-submit a registration for that beneficiary this fiscal year. Multiple related entities can each submit a registration for a specific beneficiary, but only if each entity can show a legitimate business need to file a registration for that beneficiary. USCIS will closely scrutinize registrations to identify prohibited duplicates before it runs the cap lotteries.
How many registrations can my organization submit and how many beneficiaries can be included in each registration?
There is no limit to the number of registrations your organization may submit. Each registration, however, is limited to 250 beneficiaries.
There is also no limit on the number of foreign nationals your organization can register for the H-1B cap lottery. However, your organization must have a legitimate business need to register each foreign national and must have a bona fide intent to submit an H-1B cap petition for each beneficiary who is selected in the cap lottery.
Does our organization need to be involved in the process of submitting an H-1B cap registration?
Yes. Your immigration counsel cannot submit an H-1B registration until you approve and electronically sign the H-1B registration and a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney. For this reason, it is critical that you pay close attention to communications received from your counsel. Failure to approve and electronically sign the G-28 and registration in time for submission by March 20 at noon ET will preclude the listed beneficiaries from being entered in this year’s cap lottery.
What does our organization need to do in order to review, approve and electronically sign the G-28 and registration?
Each time your counsel finishes drafting a registration for your organization, USCIS will generate a unique passcode that you can use to review, approve and electronically sign the G-28 and registration document. Your counsel will send this passcode to you.
When you are ready to review the draft registration, you must log in to your my.USCIS.gov account, which will bring you to the H-1B Registrations Home Page. Click on “Enter representative passcode” and input the passcode in the field provided.
You will first be directed to review the electronic Form G-28, which involves confirming your attorney representative, checking all three boxes where it asks where USCIS should send notices and documents about the registration, attesting to a statement confirming that your organization is represented by the attorney listed on the G-28, and providing your electronic signature. You must then click “submit” to file the G-28.
Once you have completed the Form G-28, you will be directed to the draft registration. Here, you must confirm that the information about your organization and the beneficiaries is accurate. If corrections need to be made, you should decline the registration, which will revert the draft registration back to the attorney for corrections. Where the information contained within is accurate, you will accept the registration and be directed to the electronic signature pages. Upon signing, you will click “Finish and Send,” which will return the registration to the attorney for submission.
Can our organization’s authorized signatory edit a draft registration?
No. If there are errors or changes needed in the draft registration, you must decline its approval and inform your counsel of the necessary changes. Your counsel will make the requested changes, generate a new passcode, and return the registration to you for your review, approval and electronic signature.
Can a beneficiary be added to or deleted from a registration?
Beneficiaries can be added to or deleted from a draft registration at any time during the registration period.
Once a registration has been submitted to USCIS, a beneficiary can be deleted from the registration, provided that the registration period remains open (i.e. by noon ET on March 20, 2020). Beneficiaries may not be added to an already submitted registration; however, an employer may register additional beneficiaries by creating and submitting a new registration before the registration period closes.
Can our organization track the status of our registrations?
Yes, once you have accessed a registration through a passcode provided by your counsel, you may track the progress of that registration. This means that you will be able to see whether the case remains in progress or whether it has been submitted to USCIS by your counsel.
Can our organization obtain a list of its registered beneficiaries?
Yes, USCIS will allow you to download a CSV (comma-separated value) list of all H-1B beneficiaries included in registration. This file can be saved in a spreadsheet program and used to ensure that the sponsoring entity does not file any prohibited duplicate registrations for a single beneficiary. According to USCIS, the CSV file will include the name, date of the birth and country of birth of each beneficiary only; it will not contain any other beneficiary data from the registration.
If your organization will sponsor more than 250 beneficiaries in the registration process, you will be able to download a CSV file for each batch registration and combine them in a single spreadsheet to check for duplicates.