New Electronic H-1B Registration Process Effective March 1, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing a registration process for the next H-1B lottery.  Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2021 CAP must first electronically register and pay a $10 non-refundable fee for each registration submitted.

The initial registration period will open on March 1.  USCIS intends to close the initial registration period on March 20, 2020.  All registrations submitted during the initial registration period will be included in the lottery if USCIS determines it has received more than enough registrations to meet the numerical limitations, regardless of whether registration was submitted on March 1 or March 19.

The electronic registration will include the following:


  • Legal name of the prospective petitioning company or organization
  • The Doing Business As names of the prospective petitioning company or organization, if applicable
  • Employer identification number (EIN) of the prospective petitioning company or organization
  • Primary U.S. office address of the prospective petitioning company or organization
  • Legal name, title, and contact information (daytime phone number and email address) of the authorized signatory


  • Beneficiary’s legal name
  • Beneficiary’s gender
  • Beneficiary’s date of birth
  • Is the petitioner requesting consideration under the INA 214(g)(5)(C) advanced degree exemption because the beneficiary has earned, or will earn prior to the filing of the petition, a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education?
  • Beneficiary’s country of birth
  • Beneficiary’s country of citizenship
  • Beneficiary’s passport number

USCIS will notify those employers whose registrations were selected and, therefore, eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.  Petitioners will have at least 90 days from the date of a registration selection to submit a complete H-1B petition to USCIS.  Petitions will be adjudicated in the order in which they are received.  Note: USCIS will select enough registrations necessary to meet the applicable numerical limitations; therefore, as long as a petition is properly filed during the petition filing window it will be adjudicated.

This new streamlined processing should greatly reduce the cost, unnecessary paperwork, and uncertainty for employers who previously needed to have their fully prepared H-1B petitions ready to file on April 1 without knowing if their petitions would be chosen in the lottery.

About the Author:  Robin Vermette

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