USCIS Implements New H-1B Visa Registration Fee
For the FY2021 H-1B cap season, USCIS will require employers who intend to submit an H-1B petition to pay a $10.00 non-refundable registration fee. Instead of accepting petitions from every employer as in previous years, USCIS will run an early "lottery" of those employers who pay the $10 registration fee. Those selected in the early lottery registration will then be invited to submit a formal H-1B petition. Those who are not selected will be informed, and they will not be allowed to submit an H-1B petition for that fiscal year.
The biggest advantage to the registration system is that employers do not have to incur legal fees hiring an attorney to prepare a full H-1B petition for submission, knowing that there is a good chance that their petitions will not be selected in the lottery. While USCIS does not cash filing fee checks of those petitions that are not selected, most law firms do not refund legal fees if H-1B petitions are not submitted by USCIS.
On the other hand, one disadvantage to the early registration system is that employer will need to start assessing their H-1B needs earlier than previous years. With the registration window open from March 1, 2020 to March 20, 2020, the days of submitting H-1B petitions at the 11th hour are most likely over.
Learn more about the H-1B visa. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the H-1B visa or any other visa or green card categories.