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Registration for H-1B Visa Petitions Opens March 1 December 18, 2019

Financial District, Manhattan
Registration for H-1B Visa Petitions Opens March 1, Manhattan, New York

Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced significant changes to the petition process for cap-subject H-1B petitions. Instead of directly submitting a petition, employers applying for an H-1B worker must first register electronically and pay a $10 fee. On December 6, immigration law officials announced that the initial registration period will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020, so employers hoping to obtain H-1B visas for foreign-born workers should familiarize themselves with the new process.

The New H-1B Petition Process

In the past, employers applying for an H-1B visa had to submit a completed petition, including all documentation of the foreign worker’s qualifications. Under the new process, employers will instead have to complete a digital registration, which only asks for basic information about the company and the worker. The randomized lottery will be drawn from these registrations, after which those selected will be invited to submit a complete petition.

immigration lawAny petitions received without a registration will be returned, even if properly prepared. Employers may submit multiple registrations, but each must be for a different worker. Duplicate registrations for the same individual will be discarded, and no substitutions will be allowed. After the lottery, immigration law officials also require employers to submit a petition for the individual named in the chosen registration.

The Open Registration Period

If USCIS receives enough registrations to fill the quota of FY2021 visas in the initial registration period, they'll run the computerized lottery and begin accepting petitions. If not, they may continue accepting registrations or elect to open another registration period later.


Immigration law is always changing, so having an attorney guide you through the evolving system can be instrumental for achieving a positive outcome. For over 13 years, the legal team at Berd & Klauss, PLLC in Downtown Manhattan have helped clients from across the world achieve their goals, from obtaining work authorization to gaining citizenship. Visit their website for more on how they can help with your H-1B visa application, or call (212) 461-7152 to schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney.

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