H1B Visa Registration Process by USCIS - Common FAQs article

29 H1B Registration Process FAQs – LCA, Multiple Employers, Results, Fee

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 71 Comments

USCIS in their stakeholder call provided guidance for the upcoming H1B Visa 2021 season’s implementation of H1B registration rule’s process, where they shared lot of updates on H1B Registration Tool, Dates, Payments and other topics for the fiscal year 2021 season.  They also clarified many common FAQs in the call. Also, our users asked many questions on the upcoming registration Process, we have compiled all of them in this article, will continue to update as new FAQs come in.

Before we get into the FAQs, below are the key dates that you need to be aware of for H1B registration process for FY 2021.

Important Dates for H1B Registration Process for FY 2021

  • February 24th, 10 AM, EST, 2020 : Employers can create H1B registrant accounts
  • March 1st, Noon EST, 2020  : Employer can start to submit H1B Registrations
  • March 20th , Noon EST, 2020 : H1B Registration period ends.
  • March 31st, 2020 : H1B Lottery/ Selection Results Deadline (can come before).
  • April 1st, 2020 : USCIS accepts H1B petition with LCA, full info for FY 2021
  • June 30th, 2020 : 90 Days deadline ends for filing of H1B petitions for FY 2021

Common FAQs for FY 2021 H1B Registration Process

1. Do employers need LCA for submitting the H1B Registrations in the tool ?

No, there is no need to have approved LCA for the H1B registration process. You only need to fill basic information of the application. You will need to submit that with actual petition, if you get selected in the registration process.

2. Can same Applicant be registered by Multiple Employers or Companies for H1B ?

Yes, same applicant or beneficiary can be registered by completely different multiple companies, as long as they are not related in any way. For example, two employers like Microsoft and Google can submit H1B registration for the same candidate or beneficiary. But, two related employers like two vendor companies or subsidiaries cannot submit multiple registrations for the same beneficiary that are tied to the same job role.

3. For Masters Degree Cap, does the beneficiary needs to have Masters Degree in hand ?

No need to have the actual degree in hand or completed during H1B registration period. If they can demonstrate and submit the Master’s degree supporting documentation during submission of the full H1B application with USCIS, it will be fine.

4. When will we get H1B Lottery Results for H1B Registrations ?

USCIS Plans to complete registrations process and announce results for H1B Visa Lottery it no later than March 31st. They will keep the registrations in submitted status until they believe that they have received enough registration for FY 2021 season…meaning, users may see the status ‘submitted’ even after March 31st, until USCIS decides that they have got enough petitions. USCIS has not published this final date yet. They will very likely announce as press release.

5. I already have an account with USCIS, can I use that for H1B registrations ?

No. you will need to create a new H1B registrant account by selecting the option of “I am an H1-B registrant”, during the sign-up process.

6. Will we have premium processing for FY 2021 ?

USCIS will share these details closer to the submission of the application. At this point, no update on this.

7. Will errors or Duplicates in a Batch of applicants or beneficiaries affect others in same batch ?

No, it will not affect others in the same batch. Only the duplicate entries will be impacted. They will be denied.

8. If something goes wrong with the system, what is the backup option ?

USCIS will go back to paper processing, if any disaster happens with the current process as backup option.

9. Can multiple legal entities under a group use multiple accounts and profiles? Separate legal entities as Petitioner?

Yes, as long as they have separate EIN numbers. If separate EIN number, then you would have separate accounts for those.

10. Can related entities file same beneficiary for the same job ? How will they be caught?

No, related entities cannot file the same beneficiary for the same job. They will be caught during the H1B application submission process.

11. For registrants, can the authorized signatory be changed during process ? Multiple emails or contact info for the registrant accounts ?

Transfer of registrant account is not something at this point. That account is owned and used by only the authorized signatory and multiple contact info cannot be used. This is a future enhancement that USCIS can do.

12. Are there any appeals for Errors with Registrations done by Registrants ?

No, there is no appeals process for mistakes or errors.

13. Can I see how many registrations are submitted by other companies or total ?

No, registrants cannot see others information or total info on the registrations done.

14. How will the registrants be notified for the Lottery results ?

As per the choice picked by the registrant like SMS or email. Once they open, they will be able to see the registration selection info in the account and can print the selected notice.

15. Which Service Center should the H1B petition be filed ? Where ?

The employers have to file at the service center that is on the H1B Selection Notice and within the time frame of the filing. You can download the selection notice from the H1B registration Portal.

16. Will we get I-797 Notice during registration ? Any paper notice ?

No, there will not be any paper notice. It will through the tool and electronic only.

17. What are the details of H1B applicant required for H1B Registration ?

Employer or H1B sponsor need the below details of beneficiary / applicant :
• Legal Name (First, Middle and Last name)
• Gender
• Option related to US Master’s Quota Eligibility
• Date of Birth
• Country of Birth
• Country of Citizenship
• Passport Number ( If no passport, there is an option to check a box)

18. Can I use H1B Registration Selected from One company and use it to file H1B application from Another employer ?

No, there is no such option for H1B transfer during H1B registration. Only your employer who submitted H1B registration can submit your H1B petition with USCIS, if selected in registration process.

19. Can I travel during H1B Registration Period ? Does it impact my Lottery Chances ?

No, there is not restriction as such for travel during the H1B registration period. It will not impact lottery chances. But, if you plan to file as Change of Status, you should be back in US by April 1st or before your actual H1B application is filed with USCIS.

20. Can H1B Applicant or Beneficiary create an account and submit registration on behalf of employer and then have employer file the actual application ?

No, the H1B registration process has to be done by employer or their immigration attorney, who represents their company.

21. What is the fee for each H1B Registration ?

$10 USD per H1B registration or beneficiary. Example, if employer submits 100 registrations, then it will be $1000 USD fee that employer need to pay.

22. What are the Payment Options for H1B Registration Submission ?

Pay with checking or Savings Account (ACH) or You can pay with Debit or Credit Card. Payment is handled by Pay.gov website and not USCIS.

23. Is there a login for H1B Applicants to access their H1B Registration or Check results ?

No, H1B registrations are submitted by Employers or their attorney. They only have access to the system. You need to work with them to get the H1B registrations results / H1B lottery results.

24. For H1B Registration, do we need to provide details of OPT or STEM OPT, if working on F1 ?

No, there is no need to provide any details of OPT or STEM OPT in registration process. Only you need to select, if you qualify for US Masters quota or not during registration.

25. Is there any additional fee for employer to create H1B Registrant Account ?

No, the H1B registrant account by itself is free. The employer only pays for the number of H1B registrations they submit during the registration window.

26. If filed Multiple Registrations and Selected in more than one, Can I withdraw the selections and not file ?

No, there is no concept of withdrawing of selected H1B Registrations. If you are selected, you are supposed to file H1B petition for the same. If allowed, many will abuse the system and do fraud. See below FAQ, it has screenshot of the mandatory filing.

27. Is it mandatory for an Employer to file H1B Petition, if Selected in Registration Process ?

Yes, it is mandatory to file. In the initial ruling, they did not clarify it. But, now when you submit H1B registration in the Tool, you need to check a box and sign telling that you will file H1B petition. See below screenshot. You are signing it under ‘Penalty of Perjury’, which means, if you violate it, you can be fined, or imprisoned for up to 5 years, or both.. H1B Registration Mandatory Filing - No Withdraw Rule

28. If H1B cap gets full in 1 day will Registrations be Closed ?

No, USCIS will accept H1B registrations for the entire 20 days from March 1st through March 20th. They will NOT close registrations, even if they get more than 85,000 registrations on day 1 or day 2.

29. Do we need Client Letter during registration using Tool ?

No, there is no need to submit any client or employment related info like LCA or job role, etc. Only basic info of the applicant is required.

Did we miss anything ? Please share your questions or thoughts in Comments.

   

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Comments ( 71 )

  1. Raju

    Hello Kumar,
    I was on L1A from 26Feb’16 till 12Jun19. Had to come back bcos of extension denial. I am in India, since last 12thJun19. My same employer registered for H1B for this year and got selected. There is a cooling off period of 365 days before one can use the continuous 6 yrs in H1B option, so should i wait till 12thJun20 and file my petition so that I will be able to continuously stay in H1B for 6 yrs. This year there is a registration step before the actual petition filing date. Thats why having this question.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Raju,
      It seems you have not used all 6 years, you can apply…. It is only if you have consumed all 6 years in US and now applying.

      1. Raju

        Thanks. Will I be eligible for full 6 yrs on new H1B or I will have only 6 minus the no.of yrs I already stayed in US on L1 as Iam applying for new h1b before 365 days out of US.

          1. Raju

            So after I use up the 6 yrs of stay including 3.5 yrs L1A and 2.5 yrs on H1B, can i get back the remaining 3.5 yrs of h1b ? another question, this year there is a registration process
            (Already over) and filing process (can be done till Jun30th). If I FILE my petition after 10Jun2020( which will pass 365 days since the day I left US last year), will I satisfy the 365 days cooling off period? my real qstn is whether H1b registration date will be considered as filing date to calculate 365 days cooling period or will it be the actual petition filing which can done till June end. thnx for ur help.

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            Raju,
            Don’t confuse the cooling off period with 6 years allocated to H1B. The logic is, you get to stay up to 6 years on H1B. The cooling off period is to apply for new H1B in lottery, if you do not have I-140 approved. Your case is, you have not used all 6 years for H1B, so you can use that….Just getting out of the country will not let you get 6 years, from the previous H1B. To get 6 years, it has to be picked in lottery and then done. As you are cap exempt, you do not have to go through cap again, reuse the rest and apply for PERM and get I-140 once you are in US.

  2. Maria

    Hi,

    What happens if there was an unnoticed typo (sequence of 2 letters was incorrect) in beneficiary’s last name on H1-B Registration, and that beneficiary was selected with a misspelled last name. Consequently, he got a selection notice with the same misspelled last name. Would the typo in H1-B Registration somehow affect beneficiary’s selection?

    Best,

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Maria,
      Well, as long as it was a genuine mistake and there was no fraud involved, USCIS may consider. Frankly, we do not know how they will handle it. Your attorney has to submit a letter explaining the issue, so that it is considered.

  3. Mitesh

    Hi ,
    I work in a small business company.I asked my employer to check my case but he is saying that he is seeing “No Active Cases” .Is he checking it on wrong page is there a direct link which I can provide him to check or does this mean that my application was not submitted? Please let me know I am really worried as this was my second chance 😔

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mitesh,
      Did he submit ? There is no direct link, if they login to MyUSCIS https://my.uscis.gov/ , they should see it.
      Did they pay for it and is there confirmation ?

      1. Mitesh

        He registered as an attorney which is a big mistake I guess. So am I still in the process or he can call them and take help. Or it is skrewed? Please do let me know.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Mitesh,
          If he registered as attorney and there is no employer tied to it, then it is a big issue… It has to be as employer…I guess not many options…

  4. Sam

    Hi,
    I have received an offer from Company A and they were able to submit the cap 2021 H1B online application for me. After the H1b deadline ended, I got a better offer for company B and comapny B is willing to sponsor H1B next year. So, now if my application gets selected in the lottery with company A, but I decide to work for company B. Will this have any affect on my OPT status. (I mean to ask that if my application with company A is selected in the lottery but they didn’t file the complete petition, as I left them. Will this affect my OPT status?)
    Also, will this create any problem for me next year when I file my H1B application with company B.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sam,
      If it was applied as COS, then you would have to work with A. Well, if you leave them, they may or may not…it should not affect your OPT status.
      If you get picked in lottery, do not lose that option, because it is not about just better offer for this or next year for you… what if you do not get picked in lottery next year…I know our readers who tried 5 years and did not get picked…It is your discretion…

      1. Yamy

        Hi, so if I decide not to work with A even H1B is picked up, My opt status will not be affected right?
        What should I do with USCIS or SEVIS if I decide to go to another company?

  5. Sukanta Sarbabidya

    I have a question related to the FAQ # 27

    Since the employer is supposed to file the H1B petition (assuming the lottery is picked-up), in that case if they chose not to file the petition later or if layoff happens, who is gonna be responsible under the “Penalty of Perjury” clause – the EMPLOYEE or the EMPLOYER? In other words, the statement “you can be fined, or imprisoned for up to 5 years” applies to whom – the EMPLOYEE or the EMPLOYER?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sukanta,
      It will be the employer’s responsibility and not the employee. Remember, the petition is always Employers and NOT employee’s. The fine and everything applies to the employer.

      1. Tyagi

        Please refer to the FAQ provided by USCIS here. – https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-electronic-registration-process

        “How should a registrant with a selected registration notify USCIS if they do not intend to file a petition?

        A: Since no H-1B petition will be filed, there will be no paper file in which USCIS can pair the notification with the registration. USCIS suggests that the employer retain documentation evidencing the reason for non-filing and present it to USCIS if questioned.”

          1. Tyagi

            So does that imply that there will be no action on the employee (since they didn’t have access to the statement and didn’t sign anything)?

  6. Mohit Agrawal

    Hi,
    My OPT start date is April 1, 2020. I have been selected fulltime by an employer and they are willing to file my h1b and submit the electronic registration before March 20. If my case gets picked up in lottery, would there be any problem, since my OPT start date is Apr 1.
    Also, if this employer does the electronic registration and it gets picked up and meanwhile I decide to go with another employer. Can this affect my future chances?
    Thanks

  7. Dev

    Hi,

    I have 2 questions to ask:

    1.) For initial filing of h1b that is till 20th March, does the company need to be e-verified? Just right now.. if selected then it’s mandatory to have but for now?

    2.) I’m employee of X company and my employer X HR’s is handled by Y company so all the w-2 and payslips of mine comes from Y company .
    So who is my petition company for H1b is X or Y?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Dev,
      1. e-verification is not a requirement for registration, but you need the other details as they ask in company.
      2. Who Pays you ? What is the name on the W2 ? That company would be your employer.

      1. Dev

        Thank you Kumar,
        I’m getting paid by Company Y and on W-2 too has company Y.
        But company X pays company Y to distribute their employees paycheck.
        (Company Y is just an HR company that handles various companies HR department)

  8. Soham

    From above all questions i realized that two employer can file for registration if both are different and do not relate.

    However,
    We have to select one from them before 20th March in order to be safe from fraud filling.

    Am i right?
    Correct me if i am wrong.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Soham,
      Yes, your understanding is right…If they are offers from like Google and Microsoft, then you can hold both of them.

      1. Jiten Roy

        So if two companies apply lets say Google and Microsoft, and if selected in both, both will need to file the petition? Like I will be working in one of those two companies on my OPT status during the time of filing of petition..

  9. Ram

    Can my employer withdraw my registration before 31st March? My employer is a vendor and my client is willing to file for me. Can both of them file?

  10. Sunny

    Regarding Q 27 –

    If employer does not file petition after getting selected in registration (lottery), will it affect employer or beneficiary?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sunny,
      It will affect Employer and maybe beneficiary, if there is fraud. They have all the data and may come after either of them, we do not know the specifics.

  11. Analyst

    How do we know that my employer has submitted or registered for me 2021 H1b electronic process. What should we get from our employer as unique number or something ?

  12. Jas

    Hi Kumar,
    I have an unused and non stamped H1B (Counselor processing) from another employer while on L1 with current employer. This year, my current employer is going to file H1 under Cap category. Is it possible for my current employer to transfer the previous approved H1B without pay-stubs? What will happen if my curent employer apply for new H1B in Cap category?
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jas,
      The transfer is slightly grey area as you did not get stamping…some had successes, some did not..You can give it a try, if you have an employer willing to give it a try.
      yes, they can file under cap.

  13. Sagar

    Hello. I am currently on my OPT expiring June this year. H1B registration documentation states that your status will remain “Submitted” until the end of fiscal year, unless it’s changed to “Selected”.

    Will I be able to work after June on Cap-Gap Status if my registration status does not change from “Submitted” to “Selected”?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sagar,
      No you cannot work past June, unless you get receipt notice. You need the receipt notice. Discuss with your attorney.

      1. Krishna

        by which date can my employer file for H1B premium processing this year ?
        if my h1 appplication is picked in lottery,can my employer file for premium processing by april 1st ?

        reason am asking this is because my stem opt ends in june 2020. So, with the premium processing, i can get the receipt notice/approval in 14 days right ? which can allow me to work after june 2020 ?
        kindly clarify

  14. Deb

    Do you need an actual Job Offer before the registration? Or can the company wait for the Lottery results before releasing the actual job offer .. before filing the H1B petition ?

    1. Rob

      Adding to this..What if company registers a candidate before the Job offer and later after 20th March decides to not offer the Job because the candidate didn’t clear the interview. In this case, if you are selected in the lottery, how can new employer even file the petition

      @Kumar Could you please answer this question?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Rob,
        Exactly, the employer is signing under penalty of perjury that they will file H1B for candidate, if selected…So, if they don’t they will have to face the consequences…This is addressed in above

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Deb,
      Most of the bona fide offers by typically companies give offer letter before. That’s one way to show intent to hire…Discuss with their attorney.

      1. Deb

        True .. I was hoping that the actual offer letter will be needed only before the actual H1B petition .

        Although interview is complete and the candidate has been selected, I am worried as the time left for 20th March may not be enough to close all the processes before the release of offer 🙁

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Deb,
          See, if both of them can be done in parallel. All they need is about 15 min or so to submit your registration. If you can get offer letter before 20th, it would be ideal…Follow up again and see what can be done.

  15. Anu

    Hi Kumar,

    I am on STEM extension with visa valid until June and OPT December. My employer has mentioned that the attorney has the registration for me. I have encountered an emergency international travel this week. Is it ok to travel while I am already registered for 2021 cap? Are there any international travel restrictions during the H1-b registration phase

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Anu,
      Yes, you should be fine. You may not travel, if filed as COS after the application is filed. Talk to your attorney as well and take decision on the timings…

  16. Andy

    Hi Kumar,

    Here is a question from the H1B application:

    Are you requesting consideration under the INA 214(g)(5)(C) advanced degree exemption because the beneficiary has earned, or will earn prior to the filing of the petition, a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education?

    Is this question asking if I have a Master’s or higher degree from an US institution that want to be considered for the Master’s quota?

    Many thanks in advance!

  17. kguess

    As an employer, I cannot find the proper area to submit the registration of the employee. When selecting the “file a form” option, it doesn’t show where to submit the name of the employee.
    Thanks in advance.

      1. Kguess

        Thanks for your answer. I made a mistake when registering. As an employer, I selected the first option instead of the third. Very confusing!

  18. akshar

    I am working with company A. I am expecting an offer between March 5th- March 10th. Both of the companies are fine to register me for H1B lottery this year. Now, if my company A Submit my registration on March 2nd (I cannot deny them as I will not be having offer from company B before March 5th). Now, if I get an offer from B and I join it. What if my application done by company A gets selected in Lottery on March 31st? In that case what would be the best move to take ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      akshar,
      If they both get selected, then they both have to apply for H1B, that’s the thing employer is signing under oath…There is no best move, both will apply…both may get approvals, if they are not related in any way, you are fine…if they are related, then it will denied as duplicate.

  19. Scientist

    If multiple employers file for the H-1B, and more than one is selected, what happens next? It seems like the beneficiary won’t be able to stop the company from filing, as they are required to file (per question 27).
    Can they all file as Adjustment of Status? Will it just be a race of which one gets approved first? What happens if multiple get approved?
    Or is it possible for the beneficiary to withhold so much information that the company can claim that they couldn’t file because of that, in spite of their intention to file when the registration was done? If the beneficiary refuses the offer (part of the at-will nature of employment), is that reason enough for the employer to not file a petition?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Scientist,
      yes, they can file as COS. Nothing, if both approved, it is up to your choice on which one to use….You need to discuss with attorney on this on the timing and how it will play out….

      You are signing under oath telling you will file, USCIS has set this trap to weed out all the bad actors, I doubt if such excuses will be entertained.

  20. Roy Saldanha

    If a beneficiary is graduating with a degree in May 2020 and certificate & transcripts will be available before 1st June 2020, can the registrant submit the beneficiaries details during the 1-20 March window. If selected in the lottery on 31st March, then submit proof of the undergrad degree in the 90 day window from 1 April to 30 June.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Roy,
      Yes, they can. That’s the whole idea…They addressed it in the stakeholder call as well. You need to submit proof of the degree when you file the application with USCIS.

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