The Trump Administration’s goal to move the H-1B visa application and lottery process to the Internet is being implemented now. The following are the government-imposed deadlines employers face to ensure that their H-1B visa applications are timely received and reviewed by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. These deadlines apply only to employers that are subject to the annual visa caps, and not to cap-exempt employers such as colleges, universities, non-profits associated with colleges and universities, and non-profit research or government organizations.
Beginning March 1 at noon eastern time and ending on March 20, 2020 at noon eastern time, employers and their representatives (including attorneys) must register on line with the USCIS. The registration fee is $10 for each beneficiary for whom a visa is sought. The registration process begins with the creation of a USCIS account, which can be done here. Legal representatives may create the account now. Petitioning employers may create a registrant account as early as February 24. Creating an account is not registration, which begins March 1.
Failure to register by March 20 at noon will make the employer ineligible to apply for an H-1B visa for the 2021 fiscal year. Specifically, the employer must file two registrations -- one that registers the employer, and the other naming the alien or aliens for whom a H-1B visa is sought.
The USCIS plans to notify employers that they have been selected in the lottery to move to the next step of the application process by no later than March 31, 2020. The notification will be to the representative’s and the employer’s accounts. An employer that is not selected will find out that its registration is either submitted and pending, or denied, or not selected.
An employer that is selected in the lottery will be eligible to apply for an H-1B visa beginning on April 1, 2020, by submitting the visa application in hard copy to the USCIS, with all supporting documents and fees.
For any questions or assistance regarding this year’s H-1B visa application process, or the USCIS case status on any matters you have in process, please contact Patrick W. McGovern, Esq. in the Firm’s Immigration Law Practice Group at 973-535-7129 or via email here. Please check this site regularly for immigration news of interest.