On January 31, 2019, USCIS issued a final rule which made substantial changes to the H-1B visa lottery process. The rule added an electronic registration component for petitioners submitting H-1B cap-subject petitions. It also changed the order in which USCIS selects petitions under the H-1B cap and advanced degree exemptions. The rule went into effect on April 1, 2019, but DHS suspended the electronic registration requirement for FY2020.
In September, USCIS published a rule that would require petitioners submitting H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a nonrefundable fee of $10 with their electronic registration.
On November 7, 2019, USCIS announced that this rule, "Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens," will go into effect December 9, 2019. USCIS will require the fee when petitioners submit registrations. USCIS is very likely to implement the registration process for the FY2021 H-1B cap selection process, but they are still testing the system. The agency says it will offer "ample notice" to the public before the official implementation of the registration requirement.
In regard to the rule, Ken Cuccinelli, USCIS Acting Director, said "this effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B cap selection process...the electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity."
This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.
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This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 19110706).