Employers looking to sponsor candidates for an initial H-1B visa registration, a process often known as the H-1B CAP, should start preparing for the H-1B electronic registration process. Though the exact dates have not yet been announced for the electronic registration process, in previous years, it has begun for three weeks in the month of March, after which employers are soon notified of the selections.
The first step is to create an online account with the USCIS and provide both certain corporate information and information for the employee being sponsored. Upon this, the employee will be assigned a registration number. For each employee being sponsored, a $10 fee will be required.
It is important to provide full and correct data at the time the electronic registration is submitted, and whoever the employer chooses to act as their authorized signatory will be required to certify that the information that has been provided is accurate and complete under penalty of perjury. They will also agree that if the employee is selected, they intend to file an H-1B petition on their behalf.
Once the registration period is open, it will remain that way for a minimum of 14 days, during which period employers will be capable of filing registrations to sponsor employees. Based on the number of registrations the USCIS receives, they will announce the actual end date for the registration period.
After the registration period closes, it will only be a few days before the USCIS conducts the H-1B lottery and selects who will proceed. Employers and designated representatives would be notified by email or text if their registrations were selected. Employers will find their online account updated with a notice for all employee registrations that were selected, allowing them to file an H-1B CAP subject petition for the selected individuals. This will also provide the filing period in which it must be performed. Those that were not selected will be placed on a waitlist for possible selection if the USCIS does not receive enough petitions to fulfill its quota.
It is essential for employers to remember that a cap-subject H-1B petition is not considered to be filed correctly if it is not based on a valid registration that was selected and is for the listed employee for the applicable fiscal year. Although, this will not apply if the registration is suspended.
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