Starting this year, all prospective H-1B applicants must first be registered online on the USCIS myUSCIS website in order to be in the pool for the H-1B visa lottery.  Online account creation is now available for prospective petitioners and legal representatives.

On January 9, 2020, USCIS formally announced details of the new H-1B cap registration process for FY 2021. For details about the registration process, please click here.

Submitting an H-1B registration requires a USCIS online account. There are two types of online accounts.

  1. Legal representative accounts: lawyers and legal representatives who already have myUSCIS accounts can use their current existing accounts. Representatives who don’t have existing accounts can create “representative accounts’
  2. Prospective petitioners who are submitting their who registrations will create a new “registrant” account.

Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but everyone must wait until March 1 at noon EST to submit registration and pay the $10 non-refundable registration fee for each beneficiary. The initial registration period will run from noon EST March 1 to noon EST March 20, 2020. There is no limit to when the account can be created, accounts can be created through to the last day of registration. USCIS will run the registration lottery on March 20 and selected account holders will be notified by March 31. Only selected beneficiaries can submit their applications.

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa suitable for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and a job offer from a sponsoring employer in a specialty occupation that is related to their field of study. Currently, the H-1B visa cap stands at 85,000 visas for college graduates, 20,000 of which are allocated solely to applicants with U.S. master’s degrees. The number of applications each year significantly exceeds the number of available visas. In 2019, a total of 190,098 H-1B applications were submitted to USCIS. As a result, USCIS runs a lottery every year to select 85,000 total applications to adjudicate. To learn more about the H-1B visa and your eligibility, please click here.

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