FAQ’s about FY 2021 Quota
FY 2021 quota is just around the corner! With it comes the use of USCIS’ new H-1B online registration system. To help employers prepare, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the H-1B registration system, registration process, and filing process to better guide you through the new changes.
THE H-1B ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM
Q: Our company has an existing account in myUSCIS. Do we need to create a new one?
A: Yes, even if your company already has an existing account in myUSCIS, employers must create a new H-1B registration account in order to use USCIS’ online registration system.
Q: If our company is using an attorney to register on our behalf, do we still need a registration account?
A: Yes, in order to sponsor H-1B workers in the FY 2021 lottery, employers must create an H-1B registration account, whether you choose to use an attorney or submit registrations on your own behalf.
Q: When can our company begin creating an H-1B registration account?
A: Employers can begin creating an online registration account February 24, 2020 at 10 AM ET. Employers and/or attorneys cannot begin drafting or submitting registrations until the registration period opens on March 1, 2020 at noon ET.
Q: Our organization has multiple entities. Will we need to create separate accounts for each entity?
A: Yes, each registration account is associated with a company’s specific Employer Identification Number (EIN). If your organization has multiple entities, employers must set up a registration account for each EIN entity.
Q: When creating separate accounts for each company, can we use the same email for all registration accounts?
A: No, USCIS requires each registration account to have a unique email address. Employers will not be able to use the same email for multiple registration accounts (different EIN, different email required).
Q: How do we create a registration account?
A: To create an H-1B registration account, go to https://www.my.uscis.gov/ on or after February 24, 2020, click “Sign up,” and follow the instructions below:
- Enter a unique email address;
- Create a unique password;
- Select your preferred two-step verification method;
- Complete the five security questions in order to reset your password as needed; and
- Select account type, “I am an H-1B registrant.”
Employers who have an existing account in myUSCIS must create a new online account to select, “I am an H-1B registrant,” in order to sponsor H-1B workers in the FY 2021 lottery during the registration period.
Q: Who in our company should be the holder of the registration account?
A: The H-1B registration account holder should ideally be created and used by the company’s authorized signatory (i.e., President, HR, Director, etc.). It may be possible for a different representative of the company to create and access the account. However, the authorized signatory of the company must personally, electronically sign the H-1B registration and Form G-28.
The H-1B registration system will require the authorized signatory to certify and attest to the validity of the registration submitted on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the registration in order to complete the registration process.
Q: Can the authorized signatory hold multiple accounts?
A: Yes, the authorized signatory can hold multiple accounts and be the signatory for multiple entities within your organization. The registration accounts only require unique emails for each EIN entity, but the designated authorized signatory can be the same for all of the entities.
THE REGISTRATION PROCESS
Q: When can employers begin drafting and submitting registrations for FY 2021 lottery?
A: The FY 2021 registration periods opens on March 1, 2020 at noon ET and will close on March 20, 2020 at noon ET. Employers and/or attorneys cannot begin drafting or submitting registrations before the registration period officially opens.
Once the registration period opens, all beneficiaries must be registered during this registration period in order to enter into the H-1B cap-subject lottery.
Q: What information is required to register a beneficiary?
A: USCIS requires the following information for each beneficiary:
- Legal name;
- Date of birth;
- Country of birth;
- Country of citizenship;
- Passport number; and
- Whether the beneficiary is eligible for the Master’s cap or Bachelor’s cap at the time the I-129 petition is filed.
Q: Does USCIS require information about the job details at the time of registration?
A: No information regarding the proffered position will be required in order to register the beneficiary in the H-1B online registration system.
Q: How many beneficiaries can be included in each registration?
A: A maximum of 250 beneficiaries is allowed to be added to each H-1B registration. Employers can submit an unlimited number of H-1B registrations.
It is important for employers to ensure that there is a legitimate job offer for each registered beneficiary. USCIS has implemented fraud prevention mechanisms to identify duplicate registrations and to detect any pattern and practice of potential abuse of the registration system.
Q: Is it required for employers to submit registration, or can employers choose to use an attorney on their behalf?
A: Employers can choose to use an attorney to draft and submit the registration on their behalf. Using an attorney will require your company to go through a verification process and the authorized signatory of your company to certify and attest to the validity of the registration before it is submitted by the attorney.
Q: If our company chooses to use an attorney, do we need to submit a Form G-28?
A: Yes, in order for an attorney to submit H-1B registrations, employers must approve and electronically sign a Form G-28.
Each H-1B registration will require a Form G-28. Employers must enter a one-time use “Representative Passcode” provided by the attorney in order to review and submit. Employers must accept or decline the Form G-28 along with the H-1B registration before noon ET on March 20, 2020.
Q: Can employers or attorneys edit a registration draft?
A: If an employer chooses to use an attorney to draft and submit the registration, an employer cannot make corrections to the registration draft. To make corrections, the employer must decline its approval and request the attorney to make the necessary edits and return the registration to the employer for review.
Q: Can a beneficiary be added or deleted from the registration?
A: While drafting, beneficiaries can be added or deleted at any time during the registration period from noon ET on March 1, 2020 to noon ET on March 20, 2020. Once the registration has been paid and submitted, attorneys can delete a beneficiary up until the registration period closes.
Beneficiaries cannot be added to submitted registrations. To add beneficiaries, a new H-1B registration must be created, reviewed, and submitted before the registration period closes.
Q: How does our company pay the $10 registration fee for each beneficiary?
A: The H-1B online registration system will calculate the $10 registration fee for each beneficiary included in the registration draft and provide a total amount. Once the employer approves of the registration draft, the attorney will be able to pay the total registration fee via pay.gov and submit the H-1B registration.
Q: Can our company view a submitted list of registered beneficiaries?
A: Yes, employers can click on “Go to my cases” to view a list of completed H-1B registrations. On that page, employers can also download completed H-1B registrations as a CSV (comma-separated value) to easily organize and view a list of the beneficiaries from a particular registration batch. The CSV file will download as a spreadsheet, and will include the company name, unique 19-digit number for each beneficiary, the beneficiary’s name, date of birth, passport number, and registration status (i.e. submitted, selected, denied).
THE SELECTION PROCESS
Q: When will USCIS conduct the H-1B lottery?
A: Once the registration period closes at noon ET on March 20, 2020, USCIS will conduct the Bachelor-cap and Master-cap lotteries up until March 31, 2020.
Q: When and how will USCIS notify employers and attorneys of the selected beneficiaries?
A: USCIS plans to notify employers and attorneys of selected beneficiaries by March 31, 2020 through the email addresses associated with the employers’ and attorneys’ registration accounts. Every selection notices will also be uploaded into the associated registration account for purposes of filing the I-129 petition.
Q: Will USCIS update the registration statuses in myUSCIS?
A: The list of completed H-1B registrations found in “Go to my cases” will be updated once a beneficiary is selected in the lottery. The registration status of selected beneficiaries will be updated from “Submitted” to “Selected.”
Q: What does it mean when the registration status says “Denied (duplicated)?”
A: USCIS has implemented fraud prevention mechanisms to identify duplicate registrations within a company’s registration account. If a beneficiary’s name is found duplicated, both entries will be denied and the registration status will be updated from “Submitted” to “Denied (duplicated).”
THE FILING PROCESS
Q: When can employers and attorneys begin filing the H-1B cap-subject petitions on behalf of selected beneficiaries?
A: The filing window begins April 1, 2020 and ends no earlier than June 30, 2020. All H-1B cap-subject petitions must be submitted during the filing period to be considered timely filed.
Q: Where should employers and attorneys file the H-1B cap-subject petitions?
A: The selection notice will provide information on the designated service center to mail the H-1B cap-subject petition, as well as information on the 90-day filing period.
Q: What needs to be submitted to USCIS once a case is selected?
A: Employer must submit hard-copies of the following for each beneficiary to the designated service center detailed on the selection notice:
- The beneficiary’s selection notice;
- Form G-28;
- Form I-129;
- Certified LCA; and
- All supporting evidence.
Q: Will premium processing be available for H-1B cap-subject petitions?
A: USCIS has not confirmed whether premium processing will be available for FY 2021.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. will continue to update the FAQ’s with more information as the new H-1B registration system becomes available.
By: Vy Hoang
Vy is the Managing Attorney for Reddy & Neumann, P.C.'s H-1B department. Her focus is on H-1B specialty occupation and covers all phases of the nonimmigrant visa process.