Cap H-1B season is just around the corner, and yesterday USCIS gave more details on how the electronic registration process will work.  You may be wondering how this will affect your company and employees you wish to sponsor.

Here is what we know.  The H-1B registration period will take place between March 1 and March 20, 2020.  Employers must complete a registration request and pay the $10 fee for each individual the employer seeks to sponsor.  A company will be permitted only one petition per individual; if duplicate registrations are detected, all registrations for that individual will be canceled.

Based on a draft registration application previously posted by USCIS, we believe that the registration content will be minimal and limited to basic information about the company, authorized signatory, and sponsored employee.  We do not expect the registration to require information about the offered position.  The registration form will ask whether the individual has obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher, but USCIS has recently said that the advanced degree will not need to be awarded by the registration period.  The degree will need to be awarded when the petition is filed, which could be as late as the end of June.

By March 31, USCIS will notify all registrations selected in the lottery.  Employers will then be able to file a cap-subject H-1B petition during the filing period which should last for at least 90 days.  We don’t know whether premium processing will be available for cap-subject H-1B petitions.

There are many unknowns about the H-1B registration, including whether the ease of registering will dramatically increase the number of lottery entrants and thereby reduce the chance of a sponsored employee winning the lottery.  We will continue to work with our clients to gather the information necessary for registration and make sure that the sponsored employee will qualify for an H-1B visa if selected in the lottery.  If you have any questions about this news update, please do not hesitate to contact your Chin & Curtis attorney.