On April 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may now be filed with USCIS if based on a valid selected registration.
A petitioner is only eligible to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition if they electronically registered the beneficiary in the H-1B registration process and USCIS selected the registration submitted for the beneficiary through the random selection process.
The H-1B electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system. Nearly 275,000 unique registrations were submitted during the initial registration period. Roughly 46% of all registrations were for prospective beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees. There were more than 40,000 registration accounts created, and nearly 81% of submitted registrations were for potential beneficiaries from India (67.7%) and China (13.2%). Prior to the launch of the electronic registration system, USCIS conducted robust public outreach to ensure users were equipped to effectively use the new system.
“The new H-1B electronic registration system has been an overall success. As a result of this modernized process, the amount of paper and data exchanged between USCIS and petitioners will dramatically decrease this year,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “The positive feedback received by users of the H-1B registration system, the limited amount of technical issues experienced during the registration period, and the ability to immediately respond to questions from registrants was the result of a comprehensive effort developed over the course of more than a year. This new registration system is one of many ways USCIS is improving the H-1B program.”
An H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed within the period indicated on the relevant registration selection notice. The period for filing the H-1B cap-subject petition will be at least 90 days. Online filing is not available for H-1B petitions, so petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions must do so by paper. Petitioners must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.
Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still establish eligibility for petition approval at the time the petition is filed and through adjudication, based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements. Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.