U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services opened this year’s H-1B electronic registration period at noon ET today. The registration period will close at noon ET on March 17.

Here is some of the key information for those new to the process or in need of a refresher:

  • Petitioners for cap-subject H-1B visas must submit an electronic registration during the registration period for each prospective H-1B candidate.
  • Petitioners or their representative must submit registrations via a myUSCIS online account and pay a $10 government filing fee for each registration.
  • Registrations cannot be submitted after the March 17 noon ET deadline. No priority is given to early submissions.
  • Following the registration period, USCIS will conduct a random lottery of properly submitted registrations if there are more registrations than visas available.
  • Petitioners whose registrations are selected in the lottery will be invited to file full H-1B petitions beginning April 1.

Background: This will be the fourth cap season in which USCIS is using the H-1B electronic registration system. USCIS received a record 483,927 registrations last year for a total of 85,000 H-1B visas.

BAL Analysis: Employers should expect demand for H-1B visas to be high again this cap season. Employers are encouraged to work closely with BAL regarding which petitions should be fully prepped before the registration lottery and possible H-1B alternatives for registrations that are not selected.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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