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PLAN NOW: Critical Changes to the H-1B Lottery Process for Fiscal Year 2021

January 16, 2020

On January 31, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final rule making significant changes to the H-1B CAP lottery process. This rule added an electronic registration requirement for employers seeking to submit H-1B CAP-subject petitions for their employees. Although this final rule became effective on April 1, 2019, DHS did not publish notice in the Federal Register until January 9, 2020, formally announcing implementation of the new H-1B CAP lottery process. The new H-1B CAP lottery process involves a new H-1B electronic registration process, a $10 registration filing fee per registration, and a new registration filing timeframe. This new electronic registration process will be implemented this fiscal year (2021), as we begin preparing H-1B CAP petitions utilizing this new system.

A summary of the changes to the H-1B CAP filing process is as follows:

It is important to note that the list above is a non-exhaustive summary of the changes to the new H-1B CAP electronic registration process. USCIS will post step-by-step instructions on how to complete the registration process, along with key dates and timelines, on its website as the initial registration period nears.

As 2020 is the first year under which USCIS will implement this new process, we anticipate there will be unexpected glitches with the new system. Therefore, it is extremely important that employers notify Miller Canfield immediately if they wish to file any H-1B CAP petitions. Miller Canfield must conduct a complete and thorough evaluation of the employee's eligibility for H-1B CAP sponsorship, as well as register the employer under the new electronic registration process, prior to the opening of the initial registration period on March 1, 2020.

Changes to the H-1B CAP registration process are ongoing, and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.