Late last year, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS”) announced that it will be implementing a new web enabled Specialty Occupation H-1B Visa Cap Registration system whereby the H-1B visa cap petitioners would register online prior to filing their H-1B visa cap-subject petitions. The Columbus Ohio Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates has been following these developments and will bring you updated information as they become available. This article will discuss the new H-1B Visa Cap Registration, its applicability and whether it will impact the upcoming H-1B visa cap season (Federal Fiscal year 2012) which will begin on April 1, 2011.
On March 3, 2011, the USCIS published in the Federal Register a Notice of Advanced Rulemaking in which it provided the public the opportunity to comment on this proposal. The comment period will end on May 2, 2011. Once implemented, the USCIS promised that the new system will yield increased efficiency and cost effectiveness in the administration of the H-1B visa petition process. Under this proposal, H-1B visa petitioning employers seeking to file a cap-subject H-1B visa petition must first register through a web enabled process that they intend to file such petition. Once the registration process is complete, the USCIS would then make a selection through a lottery system if the number of registrations exceeded the visas available and then announce which beneficiaries will be eligible to have their H-1B visa petitions filed. The USCIS states that this process would save the petitioning employer from having to unnecessarily file a cap-subject H-1B visa that will be rejected through a lottery system.