This year, USCIS began opened electronic registration for H-1B visa cap-subject petitions on March 1st and will continue to accept electronic applications through 12:00pm Eastern Time on March 20th.
Employers filing on behalf of H-1B employees must create a myUSCIS online account to register and pay a fee of $10 per employee. While each individual employee must be registered separately with a separate fee, all of this can be completed in one session, and employers can store and edit electronic registration drafts in their myUSCIS account throughout the registration period ending March 20th.
It is expected that the number of electronic submissions will far exceed the H-1B cap of 65,000 visas for beneficiaries with US bachelor’s degrees or higher, and an additional 20,000 for applicants with US master’s degrees and higher. This year, applicants with advanced degrees will get two rounds in the selection process, with the 20,000 advanced degree visas being chosen first and all applicants not selected entered into the subsequent general lottery. USCIS says applicants selected will be informed by March 31st, as that is their goal.
For more detailed information and access portals for electronic submission, go to uscis.gov/h-1b.
Following notification, those selected will have 90 days to file the completed H-1B petition. It is important to have this filed as soon as possible as we anticipate another year of record-high rates of RFEs, and multiple rounds of them. Last year, many H-1B employees were prevented from starting work on time on October 1st 2019 because they were still embroiled in the RFE response process, delaying workflow for their sponsors and their sponsors’ clients. To prevent this from happening this year, file as soon as possible and anticipate RFEs by providing in the initial filing:
- An expert opinion letter that addresses specialty occupation, wage level, and employer-employee relationship issues.
- A credential evaluation uniquely written to address the beneficiary’s education, work experience, proffered position, H-1B educational standards and USCIS approval trends.
For a free review of your case, or your employee or client’s case, visit ccifree.com. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.