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The New H-1B Program For 2020 – Immigration Lawyer New York
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The New H-1B Program For 2020

By Michael H. Markovitch, Esq. on January, 20, 2020

The new process for petitioning for highly educated H-1B workers will officially begin on March 1, 2020. For the first time, a U.S. employer who wants to file a petition that is subject to the annual limits must first register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency then must select the registration before the employer can file a petition.
 
This is true for H-1B visa numbers subject to the statutory “cap” of 65,000 workers per fiscal year (FY). The same applies to the 20,000 additional “master’s exemption” visa numbers for foreign workers with a master’s or higher degree from a qualified U.S. college or university.
 
The USCIS in November  announced a $10 registration fee. USCIS has given formal notice to the public that registration will begin March 1. A U.S. employer must receive an electronic notice from USCIS by March 31 saying that its registration was selected. The employer needs to receive this notice before it can file an H-1B petition for the worker it registered. The notice will specify the time period in which the employer must file the H-1B
petition. Per the registration regulations, USCIS must give the employer at least 90 days in which to file its petition.  While a U.S. employer may submit multiple registrations, it is limited to one registration per noncitizen in a FY.
 
USCIS will announce a start date, prior to March 1, when employers and their representatives can set up online registration accounts. It appears that USCIS will be using its online account system myUSCIS for registration. myUSCIS’ forms page on USCIS.gov already includes a selection for H-1B registration, although the registration function is not available yet.
 
While USCIS “intends” to close registration on March 20, the agency also said it will “announce the actual end date” on its website. Under the new process, USCIS may “re-open” the registration period if it does not receive enough registrations.
 
But given that demand has exceeded supply over the past several years, it is more likely that USCIS will receive more registrations than available visa numbers. In that scenario, USCIS will make a random selection of registrations properly filed during the initial registration period. The agency will select the regular “cap” registrants before those for the “master’s exemption.”
 
Should companies and their representatives be signing up now for myUSCIS because it is a likely registration portal? Will a USCIS online registration system be able to handle so many users trying to access it simultaneously? What technical assistance will be available if users encounter registration-specific problems? As of now, these questions remain unanswered.
 
There are many questions still yet to be answered by USCIS. We will pass it on once we learn more from USCIS. 
 
For further information or questions, you may have, please do not hesitate to

Tags:  H-1B Program

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