H-1B Electronic Registration: Employer Q&A with Corporate Immigration Partners

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

Answers to Common Questions About the H-1B Electronic Registration Process

A few years ago, employers saw one of the most significant changes to the H-1B cap process in recent memory: a new electronic registration system.

To help sponsoring employers navigate this new systemEnvoy sat down with its affiliated law firm, Corporate Immigration Partners, to get more insights about electronic registration and how employers can best prepare for H-1B cap season.

Here are six H-1B electronic registration questions from employers and their answers.

EG: What is the electronic registration system and how does it make the H-1B petition process different?

CIPElectronic registration changes the H-1B cap process from a singlestage process to a two-stage process. Previously, employers and their immigration attorneys would begin petition preparation before the first business day of April. At that point, (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would accept petitions for the next five business days. Once this period ended, they would conduct the random lottery to select 85,000 H-1B beneficiaries and notify the sponsoring employers by paper receipt notices. USCIS would return petitions not selected.

Now, employers no longer must prepare and file a full petition ahead of the lottery—they will electronically register foreign nationals they wish to sponsor by submitting basic information about their organization and the employee after creating an online account through the myUSCIS portal. For each employee or candidate an employer registers, there is a mandatory, nonrefundable $10 USCIS feeUSCIS will use this information to conduct the lottery and notify employers and their selected employees, who must submit a full H-1B visa petition to USCIS. 

EG: What are the important H-1B dates to remember?

CIP: The H-1B lottery process now begins in March. Employers are required to register each employee they wish to sponsor during a period of 14 calendar days in March of each fiscal year (USCIS will release specific dates annually).

Following this period, USCIS will conduct the lottery to select the 85,000 beneficiaries before March 31st, and sponsoring employers will be notified electronically. Beginning April 1, employers will have an expected 90 days to prepare and submit a full H-1B visa petition for their employees.

EG: What information are employers required to provide when submitting an electronic registration on behalf of their employees?

CIP: To electronically register, USCIS requires information on both the sponsoring employer and foreign national. For the employer, this includes the company name, mailing address, federal identification number and employer’s authorized representative, name, job title and contact information. 

Employers must supply the following information about each beneficiary:

  • Full legal name.
  • Gender.
  • Date of birth.
  • Country of birth.
  • Country of citizenship.
  • Passport number.
  • Whether the beneficiary is eligible for the U.S. advanced-degree cap when an H-1B cap petition is filed.

If an attorney assists with the registration, USCIS must also receive their information.

EG: How does USCIS notify employers if their employees are selected in the lottery?

CIPFor this year’s cap, USCIS likely intends to notify employers and their representatives of selected registrations via their USCIS online accounts before the end of March 2024 (exact dates are still to be determined).

In addition, USCIS will communicate to employers if an employee is ineligible to file a petition based on their registration. In addition to notifying when a registration is denied, or a payment method is declined, not reconciled or otherwise invalid.

EG: How can employers prepare for H-1B electronic registration?

CIP: While electronic registration might seem simpler than the former process, the H-1B visa petition remains the same. In addition, USCIS has indicated that they can investigate and sanction companies that submit registrations for unqualified employees. As a result, it’s still critical to ensure that all H-1B cases are properly vetted and analyzed well before registration. Responsible employers should make sure that every foreign national they plan to sponsor is qualified and that there are no better visa options available for them

Under the electronic registration system, selected petitions will be adjudicated on a firstcome, firstserved basis.

Employers should work with their counsel to fully review each sponsorship and to strategize how to submit petitions in a timely manner best, to minimize the risk of any start date delays or work authorization disruptions that could impact the business and foreign nationals.

EG: Are there any other risks employers should be aware of?

CIP: In addition to potential delays, sanctions and Requests for Evidence (RFEs), USCIS has indicated that if multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary, it will deny all registrations submitted for the beneficiary in question for the current fiscal year.

For a more in-depth look at electronic registration, H-1B eligibility requirements and petition practice pointers, download The Employer’s Guide to H-1B Cap Season.

Streamline and simplify the H-1B electronic process during this upcoming cap season. Envoy’s cutting-edge technology and independent U.S. law firm provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to your company’s H-1B sponsorship plans.

Learn how Envoy can streamline the work authorization process for your sponsored talent.

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Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).   

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Envoy is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. If you would like guidance on how this information may impact your particular situation and you are a client of the U.S. Law Firm, consult your attorney. If you are not a client of the U.S. Law Firm working with Envoy, consult another qualified professional. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship with the U.S. Law Firm.