New Method of H-1B Lottery Will Save Petitioners Time and Petition Writing Efforts
The H-1B filing season will begin earlier than in past years with a March registration period for any petitioner-beneficiary pairs. Initial H-1Bs petitions subject to the low H-1B cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will be activated with a preliminary lottery procedure. Petitioner-beneficiary pairs will need to register during the period March 1, 2020 - March 20, 2020 - and then be selected in a lottery, in order to be qualified to file a petition together. Registration will be done online with the H-1B petition adjudicating agency, the USCIS, at their website. A $10 registration fee will be payable.
If during the registration period, the USCIS does not receive what it deems an adequate number of registrations, it will re-open the registration period with an announcement on its website www.uscis.gov. The estimated total number of respondents for the registration is 192,918, per a government publication in November 2019. Registration time per respondent is anticipated to be half an hour.
March 2020 H-1B Petition Registration Procedure
Petitioners will register using an online account per instructions provided on www.uscis.gov. An account may be set up before the registration period commences. The earliest date for setting up accounts has not yet been announced. Each individual who will be petitioned needs a separate registration. Petitioners will be able to register for multiple individuals in a single online session. Only one registration will be possible per petitioner-beneficiary pair. Double registering one beneficiary will invalidate all registrations for an individual petitioner; quite a high penalty for petitioners who can have thousands of H-1B petitions.
Winning registrants will receive notice of their selection in their registration accounts and via email or text message. The USCIS plans to give this notice by March 31, 2020 or earlier.
The announcement today was made in the Federal Register* and follows a rule published on January 31, 2019, the H-1B Registration Final Rule, and follow up publication in November 2019 of the Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H–1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap Subject Aliens.