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This year we will face a new and, hopefully, improved H-1B process. Following months of anticipation, last month USCIS announced that employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions will be required to electronically register and pay a $10 H-1B registration fee to determine if they may file an H-1B cap-subject petition. Following this step, in late March, all registered employers will be subjected to an initial screening lottery. Only those employers selected during this screening process will be allowed to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.
While a formal announcement of the new process has yet to be published in the Federal Register, there are a few details that we can anticipate. The screening registration is expected to be open between March 1 and March 20. Employers will need to provide general information about their entity (name, address, identification of potential H-1B employees, identification of authorized representative and company FEIN). Beneficiaries will have to provide status information, passport and whether they qualify for the advanced degree exemption. No information on the position or qualifications would be required at the registration stage. If selected, employers would have 90 days to file an H-1B petition.
The new process could be especially beneficial to employers. The registration and selection process should save employers from having to expend resources on legal fees and other expenses for preparing a full petition to file with USCIS unless they are actually selected to file. Nonetheless, employers and beneficiaries should be prepared to take action early in the process.
To avoid unforeseen delays, we advise employers to take initial steps in January and February. Employers should be ready to file verification requests and Labor Condition Applications (LCA) well before the registration process opens on March 1. We will post further updates as we learn more information.View Similar Articles