Last year saw the implementation and rollout of the first ever electronic registration process for cap H-1Bs, representing a significant departure from past practice where employers (and their attorneys) would work tirelessly in the winter months to prepare completed H-1B petitions and submit them to USCIS on April 1st of that year. Intended to save significant amounts of time and money (and paper!), the electronic registration process had employers (or their attorneys) electronically submit registrations via online myUSCIS accounts, providing some basic information about the company, the intended foreign national beneficiary, and paying a nominal $10 registration fee. USCIS then conducted a random lottery of the submitted registrations and informed stakeholders which had been selected. While there were the expected reports of various bugs and glitches, the electronic registration process honestly went smoother than anticipated.
This year will be round 2 of the electronic registration process, and hopefully some of the bugs from last year will have been ironed out. USCIS announced on Friday that the initial registration period for FY 2022 Cap H-1Bs will run from 12 PM EST on Tuesday March 9, 2021 through 12 PM EST on Thursday March 25, 2021. During this time, employers (or their representatives) will be able to submit electronic registrations on behalf of prospective H-1B beneficiaries. Assuming that USCIS receives sufficient registrations by March 25th, the agency will conduct the randomized lottery shortly after the registration period closes, and intends to notify selected registrants by March 31st. Employers will then have a 90 day window to file an H-1B petition on behalf of any selected registrations.
Copied from USCIS:
USCIS today announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations.
A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. This number is used solely to track registrations; you cannot use this number to track your case status in Case Status Online.
Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of each beneficiary. Prospective petitioners submitting their own registrations (U.S. employers and U.S. agents, collectively known as “registrants”) will use a “registrant” account that will be available soon. Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 9 to enter beneficiary information and submit the $10 fee. Prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to submit registrations for multiple beneficiaries in a single online session. Through the account, they will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.
If we receive enough registrations by March 25, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. We intend to notify account holders by March 31.
An H-1B cap-subject petition may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for that beneficiary was selected in the H-1B registration process.
We will conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure that representatives and registrants are familiar with the electronic registration process.
Additional information, step-by-step registration instructions, and helpful videos are available on the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.
H-1B Selection Process Rule Effective Date Delay
USCIS has also announced that DHS is delaying the effective date of the H-1B Selection Process final rule until Dec. 31, 2021. USCIS will apply the regulations currently in place (random selection) to the initial registration period, and any subsequent registration period for the FY 2022 registration process that takes place before Dec. 31, 2021.
Additional information is available in the Federal Register notice.
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