[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 6 (Thursday, January 9, 2020)]
[Pages 1176-1177]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-00182]



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2650-19; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0014]
RIN 1615-ZB82

Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B 
Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is 
announcing the implementation of the H-1B registration process for H-1B 
cap-subject petitions. The initial H-1B petition registration period 
will begin on March 1, 2020. Starting on that date, USCIS will require 
H-1B cap-subject petitioners, including those eligible for the advanced 
degree exemption, to first register electronically with USCIS and pay 
the associated H-1B registration fee before being eligible to properly 
file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B 
numerical allocations. USCIS intends to close the initial registration 
period on March 20, 2020 and will announce the actual end date on its 
website. After the initial registration period closes, USCIS will 
conduct the initial selection process, and petitioners with selected 
registrations will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for 
those selected registrations during the associated filing period.

DATES: This notice is effective on January 9, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Nimick, Chief, Business and 
Foreign Workers Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security, by mail at 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-
2060; or by phone at 202 272-8377.


I. Background on H-1B Registration

    On January 31, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published a final rule \1\ requiring petitioners seeking to file H-1B 
cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree 
exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a 
designated registration period, unless the requirement is suspended 
(``H-1B registration final rule''). See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(1). 
In the final rule, DHS announced that USCIS was suspending the 
registration requirement for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 cap season to 
complete all requisite user testing of the new H-1B registration system 
and otherwise ensure the system and process are operable. DHS has 
completed all requisite user testing and is implementing the 
registration process in advance of the H-1B cap season for FY 2021.

    \1\ See 84 FR 888 (Jan. 31, 2019).

    DHS stated in the H-1B registration final rule that it will publish 
a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation 
of the registration process before the first H-1B cap season that would 
use the process. Once USCIS implements the registration process, it 
will announce subsequent registration periods for each fiscal year on 
its website.
    On November 8, 2019, DHS published a final rule amending its 
regulations to require a $10 fee for each registration submitted for 
the H-1B cap selection process. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i)(NNN).

II. Participation in Registration

    As explained in the H-1B registration final rule, before a 
petitioner can file an H-1B cap-subject petition, including those 
eligible for the advanced degree exemption, the petitioner must first 
electronically register with USCIS. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(1).
    USCIS will not consider an H-1B cap-subject petition to be properly 
filed unless it is based on a valid registration selection for the 
applicable fiscal year. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(1) and (D).

III. When To Register

    The initial registration period will start March 1, 2020. USCIS 
intends to close the initial registration period on March 20, 2020 and 
will announce the actual end date of the initial registration period on 
its website at www.uscis.gov pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(3). 
If USCIS determines at the end of the initial registration period that 
an insufficient number of registrations have been received, USCIS will 
determine the final registration date once it has received the number 
of registrations projected as needed to reach the numerical 
allocations. If USCIS determines that it is necessary to re-open the 
registration period, USCIS will announce the start of the re-opened 
registration period on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov. See 8 CFR 
214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(3) and (7).

IV. How To Register

    Petitioners must register using an online account. USCIS will 
provide step-by-step instructions on its website at www.uscis.gov.
    Employers and authorized representatives may start setting up their 
registration accounts in advance of the registration period opening. 
USCIS will post the date that employers and authorized representatives 
may start setting up accounts on its website. Employers and authorized 
representatives will be able to continue to set up accounts during the 
registration period and may immediately use those accounts to register. 
They may also set up accounts after the registration period to use for 
later years. A petitioner or its authorized representative must 
electronically submit a separate registration request

[[Page 1177]]

naming each individual it seeks to petition for a cap-subject H-1B. 
Petitioners will be able to register multiple individuals in a single 
online session. The electronic system will allow for a filer to 
prepare, edit and store the record in their account prior to final 
payment and submission. A petitioner may only submit one registration 
per beneficiary in any fiscal year. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(2). 
If a petitioner submits more than one registration for the same 
beneficiary in the same fiscal year, USCIS will consider all 
registrations filed by that petitioner for that beneficiary for that 
fiscal year invalid. Id.

V. Registration Selection

    USCIS will send notices electronically to all registrants with 
selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-
subject petition on behalf of the individual named in the notice within 
the filing period indicated on the notice. See 8 CFR 
214.2(h)(8)(iii)(C). The notifications will be added to registration 
accounts. The account holder who submitted the selected registration 
will receive notification via email or text message stating that an 
action has been added to their account, and they will have to log in to 
see the full notice. USCIS intends to notify registrants with selected 
registrations from the initial registration period no later than March 
31, 2020.

Chad F. Wolf,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2020-00182 Filed 1-8-20; 8:45 am]