U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday that its H-1B electronic registration period would open at noon ET on March 1 and will close at noon ET on March 17.

Key Points:  

  • 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 filing fee for each registration.
  • Registrations may not be submitted after the March 17 deadline. No priority is given to early submissions.
  • Following the registration period, USCIS will conduct a random lottery if there are more registrations than visas available. Annual H-1B caps are set at 65,000 visas plus an additional 20,000 exclusively for advanced degree holders.
  • Petitioners whose registrations are selected in the lottery will be invited to file full H-1B petitions during the 90-day period beginning April 1.

BAL Analysis: USCIS received a record 484,927 H-1B registrations last year. Demand for H-1B visas will likely be high again this cap season, even with some signs of a hiring slowdown. Employers are encouraged to work closely with BAL regarding the immigration benefits employers can offer (e.g., immediate green card sponsorship), which petitions should be fully prepped before the registration lottery, and possible H-1B alternatives for registrations that are not selected. BAL will provide updates on cap season as information becomes available.

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

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