Updated: Dec 16, 2019
USCIS announced its new H-1B lottery procedures, which will be rolled out for the first time for the 2021 H-1B lottery. This year, companies filing H-1B petitions will need to first submit electronic registrations for each employee they seek to sponsor. The electronic registration fee will be $10 per applicant.
The initial registration will open from March 1 to March 20, 2020. During this time, employers or their immigration attorneys must electronically submit a separate registration for each employee they seek to sponsor for an H-1B petition.
USCIS will then randomly select winners of the lottery no later than March 31, 2020. Employers whose registrations were selected will be notified and at that time will be able to submit H-1B petitions for the selected employees.
USCIS has stated they will post additional information inclduing key dates, registration timelines and step-by-step instructions informing H-1B petitioners how to complete the registration process on its website along as March nears. Adomat Immigration will continue monitoring these updates.
So, what does this mean for you? The new H-1B registration system means employers face significantly fewer financial risks when sponsoring their employees for H-1B visas. Previously, employers were required to pay full legal and filing fees in order to submit an H-1B CAP petition. Although USCIS returned filing fees for unselected petitions, full legal fees were required even for petitions that were not selected in the lottery. This meant that employers could potentially pay thousands of dollars in legal fees without obtaining a work visa for their employee.
This year, employers will be able to register their employees for the H-1B for a minimal USCIS filing fee -$10 - and will only need to proceed with preparing an H-1B application if selected for the lottery. This means that employees will only pay the legal fees required for preparing an H-1B petition if their employee is selected in the lottery, thus lowering the financial risk involved in the process.
If you have questions or are interested in registering your employees for the 2021 H-1B lottery, please contact Ayla Adomat at firstname.lastname@example.org.