USCIS in the previous years had a paper based process in place for handling the huge set of applications that were filed with them. As it is a big burden for both USCIS and employers filing H1B, they published a H1B Registration Rule in 2019 using standard regulatory process. Due to time crunch, they could not implement the rule during FY 2020 season and now for FY 2021 H1B season they are implementing the same. So, H1B registration process is the new one for this year. Let’s look at the details.
What is H1B Registration Process for FY 2021 ?
One of the key changes to the overall H1B filing process is the introduction of a Registraiton system, where the employers do not have to file the complete petition , but rather fill out some basic information about the applicant. USCIS will use that information to run the H1B Lottery as needed and notify the people, who were selected in the lottery and the ones selected need to file the complete H1B petition.
In short the new process is like below
- Submit H1B registrations with USCIS between March 1st and March 20th, 2020. Employers need to pay $10 for each H1B Registration.
- USCIS runs the lottery and notifies employers by March 31st.
- Employers need to submit the H1B petitions for the selected applicants in the registration process in 90 days. The 90 days deadline starts from April 1st. Employers need to file LCA and other relevant documents that are required for the petition during this 90 days and submit the entire package of H1B Petition like in previous years with USCIS.
- Employers will be notified first with the receipt notice of the application.
- After the receipt notice, employers will be mailed either RFE or Approval decision for the H1B application.
What is new for FY 2021 H1B Season ?
The new part is the H1B Registration part. Except that, everything is like previous years. Also, the lottery order has changed last year, if you did not know. In the new lottery order, first the lottery is run to select the Overall General Quota 65,000 slots and then lottery is run for the masters quota for the 20,000 slots. The key thing to note is that, it will increase the lottery chances for the Masters quota people.
One more key thing is the 5 day window for previous H1B filing vs. 20 days now. In the past there were only 5 days window for submitting applications from April 1st ..but, now the window for H1B registrations is much more than 5 days and it is from March 1st to March 20th. Basically, you are getting three weeks now.
What do you think of the new process ?