U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a screenshot yesterday of the new H-1B online registration tool that is expected to be implemented for cap season this April. The agency also proposed adding a question to the H-1B petition to reflect that the H-1B candidate’s registration has been selected in the lottery, and will accept comments on both proposals until Nov. 8. USCIS previously proposed these changes in June, and is now opening an additional 30-day comment period for both.

Key points:

  • The screenshot contains the questions that must be answered for each prospective H-1B candidate to complete the H-1B online registration process.

Questions include:

    •  The petitioning company’s legal name, Doing Business As name, employer identification number and primary U.S. office address.
    • Name, title, phone and email address of the authorized signatory.
    • The H-1B candidate’s name, gender, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, passport number, and whether he or she has a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.
    • An attestation by the authorized signatory, under penalty of perjury, that the information is true and correct and that the petitioner intends to file an H-1B petition for the individual H-1B candidate if selected in the lottery.

The full screenshot was published on Regulations.gov here.

  • The proposed H-1B registration tool is subject to a 30-day comment period ending Nov. 8.
  • The H-1B petition (Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) will be updated with a new data field for H-1B cap-subject petitioners to provide a beneficiary confirmation number indicating that the H-1B candidate’s registration was selected in the registration lottery. USCIS will accept comments on the form revision until Nov. 8.

Background: USCIS has taken several steps in recent months toward implementing the H-1B registration system for the upcoming cap season. The system will require that employers submit an online registration form for each prospective H-1B candidate before filing season begins in April, during a designated registration period. USCIS will conduct a lottery of the registrations and will send selection notices to successful petitioners, who would then be permitted to file full H-1B petitions for adjudication on behalf of beneficiaries whose registrations were selected. USCIS has also proposed to charge a $10 fee for each registration. The comment period on that proposal ended Oct. 4, and the agency is expected to finalize the regulation this fall.

BAL Analysis: USCIS recently confirmed that it is planning to introduce the H-1B registration system for the upcoming cap season, “subject to continued testing,” and employers should anticipate that they will be required to submit online registrations through the new tool during a designated registration period before April 1, possibly as early as January. USCIS stated in the letter that it will conduct further outreach and training to allow members of the public to familiarize themselves with the new process. The agency will provide notice at least 30 days in advance of the opening of the registration period. BAL is closely monitoring developments and will provide updates as further details of the H-1B registration system and its implementation become 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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