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Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli discussed the expected rollout of the new H-1B registration system, processing delays, upcoming changes to E-Verify, and other topics at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Global Mobility and Immigration Symposium in Washington, D.C. this week.
Background: In recent months, USCIS has taken steps to implement the H-1B electronic registration system, and has stated its intention to introduce the system in the upcoming cap season, “subject to continued testing of the system.” The American Immigration Lawyers Association recently expressed concerns about the timing of the implementation and asked the agency to complete testing by Nov. 1 to give companies enough time to prepare.
Under the new system, all petitioners must submit an online form for each prospective H-1B employee during a designated period before April 1. USCIS will conduct a lottery to select registrations among the pool, and only successful petitioners will then file full H-1B petitions on behalf of each selected H-1B candidate.
BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to begin planning for cap season with the expectation that the H-1B registration system will be in place in early 2020. According to Cuccinelli’s comments, the agency will announce by the end of next month whether it will introduce the H-1B registration system for the upcoming cap season. BAL is closely monitoring developments with the H-1B registration and will report updates to the implementation timeline when information becomes available.
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