Changes to H-1B Lottery To Include Electronic Registration Fee in 2021

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in their specialty area.

Non-Refundable Entry Fee for H-1B Visa Registration

The H-1B cap lottery selection process for FY 2021 will be the first year where some of USCIS’s proposed changes will be implemented. USCIS has announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable entry fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system. The registration fee is part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States.

Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will first have to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period, unless the requirement is suspended.

Immigration System To Be Updated for More Effective and Efficient H-1B Visa Selection process

“This effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B cap selection process,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “The electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity.”

In Effect as of Dec. 9, 2019: Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens

The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, is effective Dec. 9, 2019, and the fee will be required when registrations are submitted.

The agency will announce the implementation timeframe and initial registration period in the Federal Register once a formal decision has been made, and USCIS will offer ample notice to the public in advance of implementing the registration requirement.

USCIS published a notice of proposed rule-making highlighting a registration fee on Sept. 4, 2019, which included a 30-day public comment period. USCIS received only 22 comments during that time, and has considered all submissions and offered public responses ahead of announcing the final rule, which is effective on Dec. 9.

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