This rule proposes to require employers seeking to petition for H-1B workers subject to the cap to first file electronic registrations with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Under this proposed rule, if USCIS anticipates that the H-1B cap will not be reached by the first day that H-1B petitions may be filed for a particular fiscal year, USCIS would notify all registered employers that they are eligible to file H-1B petitions on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the selected registrations. USCIS would continue to accept and select registrations until the H-1B cap is reached.
On the other hand, if USCIS anticipates that the H-1B cap will be reached by the first day that H-1B petitions may be filed for a particular fiscal year, USCIS would close the registration before such date and randomly select a sufficient number of timely filed registrations to meet the applicable cap. USCIS proposes to allow only those petitioners whose registrations are randomly selected to file H-1B petitions for the cap-subject prospective worker named in the registration.
USCIS would create a waitlist containing some or all of the remaining registrations, based on USCIS statistical estimates of how many more registrations may be needed to fill the caps should the initial pool of selected registrations fall short. USCIS would notify the employers of those registrations placed on the waitlist when and if they are eligible to file an H-1B petition. Employers whose registrations were neither randomly selected to file petitions nor placed on the waitlist would receive notification that they were not selected to file petitions in that fiscal year. USCIS anticipates that this new process will reduce administrative burdens and associated costs on employers who currently must spend significant time and resources compiling the petition and supporting documentation for each potential beneficiary without certainty that the statutory cap has not been reached. The proposed mandatory registration process also will alleviate administrative burdens on USCIS service centers that process H-1B petitions.