Posted January 31, 2020 - Vineesha Kakarlapudi
Are you planning to apply for H-1B Visa in the coming Fiscal Year? Then this article is for you. USCIS is announcing updates in the H-1B process every year. And this year would see some major changes in the H-1B process: from the inclusion of pre-registration to the increased fee.
Let’s first go through the H-1B process followed earlier.
USCIS has proposed two major changes in the year 2019. One of them is the implementation of electronic registration, and the other is the reversal of the random selection process. But, the electronic registration implementation was canceled for the FY 2020 as it hasn’t completed the testing.
As electronic registration was canceled for the year 2019, USCIS followed the regular April 1st- 5th window for filing the H-1Bs. But, it has implemented the reversal of the random selection process and conducted a lottery on the Regular Cap petitions first, which includes both the Masters and Regular cap petitions. Later, it conducted a lottery on the Masters’ cap petitions alone. This bought in a higher chance of approval for Masters’ cap applicants.
The H-1B visa process in the upcoming Fiscal Year will undertake many reformations in terms of its implementation. Now, it includes the inclusion of a pre-registration process and a $10 registration fee for each registration filed.
According to this new update, petitioners who are willing to file H-1B petitions should first electronically register and pay the fee for each registration. The time period to register is from March 1st – 20th, 2020. The government will select candidates after the initial registration period ends and no later than March 31st, 2020(expected).
As an employer, if you are filing for an H-1B visa, firstly, you have to create an account with myUSCIS. You can follow the below steps in creating the account.
Create an account in myUSCIS.gov with your E-mail ID
Once you confirm the Email ID, a confirmation mail will be sent to your mail
Follow the specified steps and create a password
USCIS follows a two-step verification method. Choose your preferred method of verification (Authentication App/ SMS/ Email)to be used every time you log in
Once you submit the two-step verification code, you have to provide answers for 5 security questions you prefer. These are the password reset answers
Now select your required action and proceed
Select the account type (Applicant/petitioner/requestor or a legal representative)
In the next step you can choose your action and proceed to the payments page
Choose the payment method convenient to you and enter the details based on the selection
On the completion of payment, you can view your case information like Receipt number, etc.
Once you have set up your account, set a registrant profile, and then add registrations, for the employees you wish to hire. You can pay the registration fee for all the registrations filed at once. This registration phase doesn’t require the inclusion of a Labor Condition Application. Indeed, it just requires the basic details of the petitioner and the beneficiary.
|Fee Paid Towards||Amount (USD)|
|AICWA||$750 or $1,500|
|Fraud prevent & detection||$500|
|Premium processing (Optional)||$1,440 ( from Dec 2, 2019)|
As the new H-1B process doesn’t require the submission of LCA, employers can file LCA only for the selected registrations. This would relive petitioners from the burden of filing many LCAs. But, many attorneys raise an issue in terms of its implementation. They say that, employers can file numerous petitions, thereby increasing the chances of selection.
Other major concern is regarding its implementation. As you are aware, the DOL iCERT website crashed in 2019, after too many H-2B applications are received during the same time. This new electronic registration process also has a chance of encountering technological or workflows errors. Then, USCIS may suspend this registration if it determines that it is inoperable and would announce further action. If that is the case, you have to be prepared for filing the petitions manually.
Gathering information, filing petition, and obtaining an H-1B visa is no small task. Especially when you consider all the updates in the process. That is when you require the guidance and OnBlick can be your guiding partner. OnBlick is the Immigration and HR compliance software designed to help you in H-1B case management.
Its guided processes assist clients with required documentation for H-1B visa petitions. It also suggests the appropriate SOC code and determines the prevailing wages. This Cap season integrates with OnBlick and improves your chances of approval.