USCIS provided additional guidance Monday on a new H-1B registration passport/travel document requirement.

Key Points:
  • Under procedures included in a final rule that took effect Monday, March 4, USCIS will require registrants to provide valid passport or travel document information for each beneficiary.
  • The passport or travel document provided must be the one the beneficiary, if or when abroad, intends to use to enter the United States if issued an H-1B visa. Each beneficiary must be registered under only one passport or travel document. The same passport or travel document number must be used on the I-129 petition that gets filed on behalf of the beneficiary if he or she is selected in the lottery.
  • The guidance released Monday states that in rare circumstances where a passport is facially expired but has had its validity extended by the government or issuing authority, USCIS will consider the passport valid.
  • USCIS also said that if the passport or travel document expires between when a registration is submitted and when the H-1B petition is filed, the petitioner should enter data from the new, currently valid passport or travel document on Page 3, Part 3 of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. In support of the H-1B petition, the petitioner should provide documentation for both passports or travel documents to establish that the passport or travel document was valid at the time of registration and an explanation as to why there was a change in identifying information.

Additional Information: The H-1B registration period opens at noon ET on Wednesday, March 6, and closes at noon ET on March 22. During this time, petitioners can use their USCIS online accounts to register H-1B beneficiaries electronically. As BAL has previously reported, the agency will switch to a beneficiary-centric lottery this year, meaning each beneficiary can be selected only once, regardless of how many registrations were submitted on his or her behalf. BAL urges employers to work closely with their BAL team as they prepare for H-1B cap registration and throughout cap season.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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