USCIS Still Unsure Whether H1B Registration System Will Be Ready for Upcoming Cap Season04 Dec 2019
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently finalized the rule adding a small fee to the H1B registration system for employers seeking to file cap-subject H1B petitions for fiscal year 2021 (FY21). Per the final rule, an H1B employer will need to pay a $10 fee for each registration. The final rule clears up a few minor procedural matters regarding how to submit payment to the USCIS. However, the final rule still does not answer the overarching question of when or even whether the registration system will be effective for the FY21 H1B cap selection process.
Process and Payment Mechanics
In issuing the final rule, the USCIS confirmed that the government payment portal, pay.gov, will be used to submit the $10 registration fee. By entering one’s checking or savings account information, or debit or credit card information, registrants will be able to submit payment through the pay.gov portal. There is no need to create a pay.gov account. Further, an employer or lawyer can make batch payments for multiple applicants submitted simultaneously.
In the preamble to the final rule, the USCIS responded to comments regarding the implementation timeframe of the registration system, but failed to provide any concrete information. The USCIS provided a noncommittal statement that it “… intends to implement the registration process for FY21, subject to continued testing of the system.” The closest the USCIS came to answering this looming question is to state that it “… will provide stakeholders with plenty of notice prior to implementing the registration requirement.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently indicated “… we have it on good authority that USCIS will be ready to roll out the electronic requirement for those seeking to file an H1B cap-subject petition [for FY21].” No further details were provided, however.
With the FY21 H1B cap season fast approaching, stakeholders would be wise to prepare for the implementation of the registration system, while simultaneously recognizing that the USCIS may have to delay the system again for another year. As soon as the USCIS provides additional details, the Murthy Law Firm will share that information on MurthyDotCom.
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