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H1B Visa Registration FAQ

Starting FY2021, prospective sponsoring employers are required to do H1B visa registration for their H1B visa beneficiaries from March 1 through March 20.  There are many questions that employers and H1B beneficiaries have regarding the process.

Prior to Registration

Q: Is there a fee to sign up for an H1B visa registration account?
A: No. There is no fee to sign up for an H1B visa registration account. However, when submitting a registration, an employer is required to pay a $10 registration fee per person.

Q: If the employer already has an account with USCIS, can that be used for the H1B visa registration?
A: No. A separate account must be created with the option “I am an H1B registrant”. You also need to use a different email address.

Q: If the USCIS registration system crashes, malfunctions, or is otherwise unavailable, what is the backup strategy?
A: USCIS will go back to paper processing in such case.

Q: Can multiple legal entities under a group create multiple accounts for H1B visa registration?
A: Yes, as long as each company has a separate federal tax ID number (FEIN). However, related entities should not file multiple times for the same beneficiary.

Q: What happens if the registrant chooses the wrong account type when creating a USCIS online account? Can they change the account type later?
A: No. Make sure to create an account of the type ‘H1B Registrant’. If you create an account of the wrong type, you will have to create another, correct account with a different email address.

Q: Do both the attorney and the employer need to create USCIS online accounts?
A: Yes. Both will create their own accounts.

Registration Process

Q: Does the employer need an approved LCA before submitting H1B registrations?
A: No. You don’t file an LCA until the specific beneficiaries are selected in the H1B registration and you are later preparing for an H1B visa petition.
Employers need only the basic demographic information about each beneficiary.

Q: What if there are duplicates or other errors for applicants (beneficiaries)? Would that affect everyone else for the same employer?
A: No. Only the beneficiaries with duplicates or errors would be rejected. It will not affect other beneficiaries.

Q: If the employer made an error during registration, is there any appeal process?
A: No.

Q: Can an employer see how many registrations have been submitted by other companies?
A: No.

Q: What if USCIS gets enough registrations on the first day? Can employers still continue to register?
A: No matter how many registrations are received on a given day, the employers can register at any time during the registration window: From March 1 through March 20, at noon Eastern Time.

Q: What is the fee for H1B registration?
A: The employer needs to pay $10 per beneficiary for submitting an H1B registration. This fee can be paid by credit card, debit card, or ACH (bank transfer). Please note that payment is not handled by USCIS, but by pay.gov

Q: When submitting a registration for the H1B visa lottery, is client letter required?
A: No. Only the basic information about the employer and each beneficiary is necessary at the time of H1B visa registration.

Q: Can an H1B employer, the authorized signatory, or email address be changed?
A: No. Only one set of contact information and authorized signatory is allowed per account.

Q: What should be entered if the H1B beneficiary does not have a last name?
A: If the beneficiary has only one name, that name should be entered as the last name, even if that is not the last name.
For other names, please check ‘Beneficiary does not have a first name’ and/or ‘Beneficiary does not have a middle name’. In any case, please don’t enter placeholders such as ‘FNU’, ‘LNU’, ‘Unknown’, ‘No Name Given’, etc.

Q: Will the USCIS system prevent the registrant (employer) and the representative (such as an attorney) both from entering the same beneficiary?
A: No. However, that would be considered duplicate and both would be rejected. Therefore, please make sure that there are no duplicates.

Q: What if the employer enters multiple unrelated beneficiaries that have the same name and birth date, and passport numbers are not entered? Would that be considered duplicate?
A: Yes. Make sure to enter the passport numbers to make sure there are no duplicates.

Q: Can multiple staff members of the employer log into their USCIS account at the same time?
A: No.

Q: What if the payment for the H1B visa registration does not go through initially?
A: You can try again, as long as it is within the registration window. In any case, it is your responsibility to submit valid payment.

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Registration Results

Q: When will the H1B visa registration results be announced?
A: They will be announced by March 31. However, as long as the status is ‘Submitted’ for a given beneficiary, it is possible that they may be selected later, if USCIS conducts additional rounds for whatever reason. The exact dates for that are not known, but they may be at any time up to September 30.

Q: How will the employers be notified of the H1B visa registration results?
A: Depending upon the option selected at the time of creating the account, the employer will either be notified by email or by text message. Either way, the employer would have to log into the USCIS account to look at the details, as the notification itself will not have any details about the results.

Q: For each selected beneficiary, how will the employer get the notice?
A: The employer will have to download the I-797 notice from their USCIS account for each beneficiary. USCIS will not send anything by postal mail.

Q: If a given beneficiary is selected in the H1B visa registration, is it mandatory for an employer to file an H1B visa petition?
A: No. However, the employer should retain documentation evidencing the reason why they are not filing and be ready to present it to USCIS, if questioned.

Q: Can an employer withdraw H1B visa registration selection?
A: There is no such concept.

Q: Some of the beneficiaries were determined to be duplicates and denied, but that denial is invalid. How can I appeal?
A: There is no procedure to appeal.

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H1B Visa Beneficiary

Q: Can a H1B visa beneficiary (applicant) get registered with multiple employers for H1B selection?
A: Yes, as long as multiple companies are not related to each either in any way through ownership, subsidiaries, or otherwise.
E.g., Apple and Facebook may file for the same applicant. However, WhatsApp and Facebook can not file for the same applicant, as they are the same company.

Q: In order to apply under Master’s Degree Cap exception, do I need to have Master’s Degree in hand?
A: No. It is not required during the H1B visa registration. However, if selected, you will have to submit the documentation of your Master’s degree at the time of submitting an H1B visa petition.

Q: I got selected through the H1B visa registration through company A. Can I use that to file H1B visa petition through company B?
A: No. You can’t do that. H1B visa registration is specific to the employer, the same one that submitted your registration initially. Such registration selection is not transferable to other employers.

Q: If I travel during the H1B registration period, will it impact my chances of getting selected?
A: No. Traveling during the H1B registration period has no impact whatsoever on your chances of getting selected. However, if you plan to file for Change of Status within the U.S. (such as from OPT to H1), you will need to be present in the U.S. when your H1B visa petition is filed with the USCIS.

Q: Can I create an account myself for H1B visa registration and submit the registration on behalf of my employer? If I am selected, I will have my employer file the actual petition.
A: No. H1B registration process has to be completed by the employer or their appointed immigration attorney.

Q: Can I log in myself to check the H1B registration status?
A: No. Only the employer or their appointed attorney can check the status of H1B registration.

Q: Do I have to provide the details of my OPT, degree, or other documents at the time of H1B visa registration?
A: No documents need to be submitted at the time of H1B visa registration. They will be needed at the time of filing an H1B visa petition.

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H1B Visa Petition

Q: To which USCIS service center should the H1B petition be filed?
A: The H1B visa registration notice (I-797) will include the USCIS service center where the employer or their attorney would file H1B visa petition.

Q: Will there be premium processing for FY2021 for H1B visa processing?
A: Premium processing for FY2021 has been suspended. This routinely occurs for the cap petitions.

Q: If a given beneficiary is getting registered for the master’s cap but does not obtain their advanced degree, will the cap-subject H-1B petition be denied?
A: If an exemption is requested for advanced degree, the beneficiary must be eligible for the same at the time of filing the H-1B petition. Otherwise, the petition will be rejected.

Q: What if the employer moves after entering the H1B registration but before filing I-129 petition, and therefore, they don’t match?
A: The employer should provide:
  1. A statement with their petition explaining the address change along with their Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  2. Supporting documentation such as a certificate of good standing or other official documentation that verifies the correct address.
USCIS should be satisfied that the employer that did the selected registration is the same as the one submitting the H-1B petition.

Q: What if there is a typo on the H1B visa registration? Will the H-1B petition be denied?
A: Even though the USCIS will not automatically reject the H-1B petition solely based on the typos, it is the burden/responsibility of the employer to make sure everything is accurate in registration and in the petition.

Q: What if a legal representative (such as attorney) that submitted a registration no longer represents the employer?
A: It is possible for the employer to terminate the relationship with their legal representative and they would still be able to see all the registration information in their own registrant account(s). However, they can’t add a new attorney or legal representative to H-1B registration that was prepared or submitted by the prior attorney.

Q: If an employer submitted the registration themselves without the help of an attorney, can they hire an attorney for the H-1B visa petition?
A: Yes. The attorney would need to file a Form G-28 along with the H-1B petition (Form I-129) to authorize their representation. In any case, that Form G-28 is required even it was submitted as part of the H-1B registration process.

Q: Based on the H1B registration selection, if the H1B visa petition is filed within the 90-day period and gets rejected, can the employer re-file it within the 90-day window?
A: Yes.

Q: The H1B petition mailed to the service center never made it. Can the employer file a second petition?
A: If there is a delivery issue during the 90-day filing window, a second petition can be sent. Be very careful when filing a second petition. If the second petition is filed incorrectly, then it’s considered a duplicate.
The second petition should include these two things: 1. The reason a second petition is being sent, such as the petition was delayed, damaged, or misrouted during delivery; be sure to include proof of the delivery issue in the second petition. 2. Your request to withdraw the first petition filed.

Q: Can the authorized signatory for H1B registration be different than the one for signing the H-1B petition I-129?
A: Yes.

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