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H1b registration for fy 2021 all you need to know

How to Electronically Register Your H1-B 2021 Petition – Explained!

Written on 28 February 2020 BY

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the launch of its new, online H1B visa cap registration system for employers. The new system will open at noon on Sunday, March 1, 2020 to US employers seeking to sponsor skilled foreign workers for a H1B visa in the 2021 fiscal year, and will close at noon on March 20, 2020.

The new H1-B electronic registration is official. And USCIS has rolled out a mandatory process with deadlines that every prospective petitioner has to abide by if they are applying for the H1-B 2021 lottery cap. Understanding and following the new electronic registration process is important for H1-B petitioners to qualify for the final lottery selection. 

Who Has to Register for The H1-B 2021 Lottery-cap

All H1-B cap-subject and advanced degree-exempt petitioners must first electronically register with USCIS within the stipulated timelines to be considered for the final lottery selection.

When to Register for The H1-B 2021 Lottery-cap

The registration period starts on March 1, 2020, and ends March 20, 2020. Given that this is the first time this process is being rolled out, USCIS reserves the right to extend or reopen the registration, if necessary. Should this happen, stay tuned to our blogs for all updateds regarding new dates.

What is The Process for Registering for the H1-B 2021 Lottery

Starting February 24, 2020, all petitioning employers have to create an account as a ‘new registrant’ on the USCIS website. This will generate a unique account number for that specific employer.
Starting noon of March 1, 2020, the petitioning employers can register each of their employees for a non-refundable $10 fee.
Each employee requires a separate registration and a $10 fee each.
Registration period ends on March 20, 2020.

To register with the new system, US employers will need to create an account by visiting the USCIS website. An account should be set up by an authorized staff member responsible for signing USCIS petitions on behalf of an organization, who will need to provide:

  • A unique email address
  • A password
  • A preferred method for two-step account authentication (either a text message, email address or an authentication app)
  • Answers to different security questions (this will enable account managers to reset a password at any time)
  • The account type required - in this case H1B registrant

Should an organization have more than one designated person, they will each need to set up an H1B registration account. A signatory is permitted to have more than one account. For example, it’s possible for one signatory to manage multiple entities, but each entity must have its own account, each with a unique email address.

Information needed for H1B visa beneficiary

When registering each H1B visa beneficiary, an organization must provide the following information:

  • Full legal name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Passport number, if any; and
  • Whether the beneficiary qualifies for the US advanced-degree cap, or will be eligible for the advanced-degree cap at the time a petition is filed on the beneficiary’s behalf

A sponsoring entity is allowed to register a H1B visa beneficiary just once. Should an organization register a beneficiary more than once, each registration will be cancelled and the employer will not be allowed to register that same beneficiary for the 2021 fiscal year.

It is possible for multiple related entities to register a specific beneficiary, however, this is conditional on each entity showing a genuine business need to file a registration for that beneficiary.

USCIS will scrutinize registrations to prevent prohibited duplicates, prior to running the H1B visa lottery.

When to expect the Results of the Electronic Registration of The H1-B 2021 Lottery-cap

  • Starting March 21, 2020, USCIS will vet the registered applicants and select the ones that will be eligible to file a formal and complete H-1B cap-subject petition. 
  • These registrants will be notified of their selection through their USCIS accounts until March 31, 2020. 
  • The beneficiaries will also be notified through their legal representatives either through email or text messages.

Final Steps After Electronic Registration of H1-B Petition

  • Starting April 1, 2020, formal and detailed H1-B petitions can be filed by the ones approved by USCIS.
  • Petitioners will have 90 days to file the entire petition. Given that these dates are fluid, you are advised to have it completed and submitted at the earliest possible date.

Important Electronic Registration Dates for the H1-B 2021 Lottery-cap

  • February 24, 2020: Petitioners can begin creating accounts with USCIS
  • March 1– 20, 2020: Electronic registrations begin at noon
  • March 21- 31, 2020: USCIS selects 85,000 applicants
  • April 1 2020: USCIS announces results of their selection. 
  • April 2 – June 30, 2020: Selected petitioners can file completed H1-B applications

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