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What is H1B Registration Process? Fees, Lottery Order? Complete Guide

If you would like to work in the US as a foreign national, H1B Visa is one such option for someone with specialized skills. USCIS as part of streamlining the overall H1B visa process, including the H1B Visa Lottery published the H1B Registration rule in December 2018 seeking public comments. Later, they published the final rule with the H1B registration process in Jan 2019. It became effective from the H1B Visa Fiscal Year(FY) 2021 Season that started in March 2020.

In this article, we will cover all details of the H1B registration process, including its background and fee, the process to follow in the online system, how it will work for the H1B Visa Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 season with dates, and the latest news updates.

Background of H1B Registration Process

USCIS published the H1B Registration rule in the federal register in to help streamline the overall H1B lottery process, reduce cost, improve operations, and also increase chances for applicants with US masters. Before the H1B registration rule, employers would submit the full H1B petition package with fee and supporting documentation with USCIS in the first 5 days from April 1st.

As this was a cumbersome process that involved a lot of effort and cost for everyone, USCIS published the H1B Registration rule to reduce the overhead for employers and themselves.  The new process is much simpler, less costly, and less effort for everyone.

What is the H1B Registration Process?

As per the H1B registration final rule published in the federal register by DHS, any company planning to sponsor an H1B visa for an applicant has first to submit basic information about their planned applicant in the USCIS H1B Online Registration System.

USCIS would use this basic info submitted online by the employer to conduct the H1B lottery as needed if they receive more H1B registrations than the required H1B cap. USCIS would inform the employers of their selected applicants in the H1B lottery using online notification. 

Employers can only file the H1B petition for those selected in the lottery, which is drawn from the companies’ submitted H1B registrations. For the selected applicants, employers would submit the complete H1B petition package with supporting documents such as H1B LCA, required filing fee, and other info by attaching the copy of the H1B registration Selection Notice.  

H1B Registration Fee 

Employers pay $10 USD per each submitted registration. The number of applicants they can register is unlimited. The same employer or related entities are not allowed to register duplicates. They must pay the total amount at the end of the registration submission process. 

The H1B Registration fee will increase to $215 starting in the H1B FY 2026 season. USCIS published a final rule in the federal register indicating the changes in the H1B registration fee.

Let’s now look at the end-to-end process of H1B filing with the H1B Registration system in place. 

Steps in H1B Registration Process from Submission to Approval 

  • Step 1  – Register H1B Applicants: Employers interested in sponsoring H1B for individuals they intend to hire will first electronically register the individual’s details with USCIS during the specified registration period as given by USCIS.
  • Step 2 – Review, and Submit H1B Registrations: Employers usually get at least 14 days to electronically register the individuals online. For the FY 2025 season, employers are given 16 days starting from March 6th, 2024 to March 22nd, 2024. They can edit, delete and modify the candidate details until the registration period closes. They need to pay the relevant H1B registration fee online during the submission of the H1B registrations.
  • Step 3  – H1B Lottery: USCIS will conduct computer-generated random selection aka, “H1B Lottery”, to select required number of registrations to meet the H1B quota. First, they run the lottery to select the regular quota filing registrants, and then they run the lottery for the US master’s quota to select the US master quota filing registrants.
  • Step 4 – Notify Selected H1B Applicants: USCIS notifies electronically the selected applicants’ details to the employer/sponsors to file H1B petitions within 90 days. The 90 days period starts from April 1st. The unselected registrations are kept on reserve to run another round of H1B lottery selection as needed.
  • Step 5  – File Complete H1B Petition: For all the selected registrations, employers file the complete H1B petition using the standard process by submitting information such as H1B LCA, Fees, and all the information supporting the H1B job offer for the selected applicant.
  • Step 6  – USCIS Processing, Adjudication: USCIS will adjudicate the petition as per their standard process and inform employers regarding their petition.

The below flow chart shows the H1B Registration process steps as discussed in the above section

Now that we know the entire process from end to end, let us look at the specifics tied to the H1B registration online system on how it will work, including the details to be filled. 

You can also watch YouTube Video with details of the H1B registration process. 

What is H1B Registration Online System? What to submit? 

The H1B Registration Online System is a tool that is used by USCIS to carry out the H1B Registration process activities like accepting registrations, running the H1B lottery, informing selected registrations, etc.  Let’s look at various aspects related to the online system, such as the information required to be filled in the tool, high-level process,  and the process flow.

Information Submitted in H1B Registration System

To use the tool as an H1B Sponsoring Employer (called an H1B Registrant in the tool) below is the information that is required from the H1B  sponsoring company side:

  • Legal Name of the company
  • Doing Business As details
  • Employer Identification Number / SSN or ITIN
  • Primary US Address office of the company

Also, below is the information that is required from each of the H1B Applicant or Beneficiary that the company plan to sponsor H1B for:

  • Legal Name of the H1B applicant – First, Middle, and Family Name
  • Gender of the applicant
  • Option to select, if the applicant is eligible for US Masters H1B Quota
  • Date of Birth
  • Country of Birth
  • Country of Citizenship
  • Passport Number or Travel Document Number.

H1B Registration Tool Flow – Screenshots

As there are many screens and it is a lengthy process, we have captured all the screens of the H1B Registration Tool and put up a step-by-step guide with process flow.  Read H1B Registration Tool – Flow, Screenshots for that information. 

H1B Registration Selection Notification Statuses 

There are four statuses that are given to a H1B Registration during the entire process of H1B registration. The employer would see one of these statuses for a registration entry during the lifecycle of the H1B registration process. Below are the details of the various H1B Registration entries statuses and what they mean. 

  • ‘Submitted’ Status:  This is the status that you would see after you submit an H1B registration status. It will continue to be in this status until the registration is either selected, denied or finally declared as not selected. 
  • ‘Selected’ Status: This is the status that an H1B registration would get, if the registration was selected in H1B Lottery or considered to file for the H1B cap-subject quota 
  • ‘Denied’ Status: This is the status of the H1B registration that was considered a duplicate and thus denied. This status is given, if more than one registration was submitted for an individual by the same company.
  • ‘Not Selected’ Status: This is the status of the H1B registration when the submitted registration was not picked in the lottery, either in the initial lottery or in subsequent lotteries. This status would only be shown when the H1B season is considered complete for the current fiscal year and USCIS is sure that they do not need any additional registrations. 
  • Invalidated-Failed PaymentStatus: This is the status that appears if the registration was submitted but the payment method did not work or was declined. It could be for any reason such as not reconciled, disputed or invalid.

Now that we know what is needed in the tool and how to use tool, lets look at the summary of the complete steps with Online H1B Registration.

Steps, Process with H1B Registration Tool

Below are the complete steps involved in the H1B Registration Process with the H1B Registration Tool created by USCIS. 

  • Step 1: Employer or H1B Sponsor creates an USCIS Online Account and then register for an organization account.
  • Step 2: Employer fills out H1B sponsoring company-related information and the authorized signatory information using the registrant account.
  • Step 3: Employer fills out their company’s H1B applicants/ Beneficiaries in the H1B online registration system using the registrant account.
  • Step 4: Employer reviews the details for duplicates and submits the H1B registrations
  • Step 5: Employer is redirected to Payment system pay.gov for payment
  • Step 6: Employer gets confirmation on the payment and can review the submitted registrations
  • Step 7: Employer can delete any duplicate entries, if needed before the H1B registration period ends.
  • Step 8:USCIS conducts H1B Visa Lottery as needed and informs the Employer of the selected registrations. 
  • Step 9: Employer files the H1B petitions with complete info within 90 days from April 1st.
  • Step 10: USCIS may run the lottery as needed to meet the quota cap for the fiscal year and if met, they will inform registrants of the registrations that were not selected. 

Below is the flow chart of the entire process from account sign-up to submitting H1B petitions using new H1B registration system. 

H1B Registration System Process - Sign up to Notification
H1B Registration Process Steps, Petition filing

Order of H1B Lottery after the H1B Registration Process 

Starting from H1B FY 2020 season, USCIS changed the order in which the H1B Registrations are selected in the lottery. The change in lottery order was also published as part of the H1B registration final rule and is now used in the registrations lottery as well. 

 In the H1B registration process, if there are more registrations submitted than the required 85,000 H1B cap quota, a lottery is conducted. The order of the lottery is as follows:

  • First, the H1B lottery is conducted to select applicants to fill the regular cap quota of 65,000 petitions.
  • After that, all the unselected US Masters applicants from the pool are taken separately, and then a second lottery is run to fill the US masters quota cap of 20,000 petitions.
  • Below is a chart that explains the order of selection in the lottery process with the registration system.  You can read more at How does H1B Visa Lottery Work.

H1B Lottery based on Wage Levels Not Applicable for FY 2025 Season

DHS published a final rule in January 2021 stating that they would conduct the H1B Lottery based on H1B Wage Levels. But, a court case was filed in October 2020 challenging this rule and eventually in September 2021, the court cancelled the H1B Lottery based on Wage Levels Rule. USCIS Officially withdrew the rule from Federal Register in December 2021. This will not be applicable for FY 2025 season and the lottery will be based on a random selection process like in previous years.

H1B Registration 2025 Dates, Timeline

  • H1B Online Organization Accounts Creation: Starting from Feb 28th, 2024. Noon EST
  • H1B Registration Start Date: Can submit registrations from March 6th, 2024, Noon EST
  • H1B Registration End Date: Last date to submit the registration is March 22nd, 2024, Noon EST
  • H1B Lottery Results: First round H1B Lottery results will be out by March 31st, 2024.
  • USCIS H1B Petition Filing: Selected applicants get 90 days to file petition from April 1st, until June 30th, 2024.

History of News updates on H1B Registration Process

Additional Information – H1B Registration Process

  • US Masters Degree Transcripts: H1B US Masters quota classification eligibility need not be proved during the registration period by providing US degree transcripts. You can indicate that you qualify for Masters’s quota in the registration system for lottery purposes. The proof details of the US Degree can be submitted during the actual H1B petition filing.
  • Time to Fill in New Registration System: DHS estimates that each unique account creation for a petitioner or employer will take about 0.17 hours and each electronic registration for an H1B application will take 0.5 hours to complete.Preventing Fraud in H1B Registration System :
    • Employers need to sign under penalty of perjury that they intend to file H1B for the beneficiary they are entering into the registration system if selected in lottery. This is to ensure the registration is for a bona fide job offer. If USCIS believes there are frivolous registrations and the system is abused, they will be subject to investigation and will be accountable for fraud.  In general, if you are signing under ‘Penalty of Perjury’, it means that if you violate it, you can be fined, or imprisoned for up to 5 years, or both..
    • One employer can only submit one registration for one H1B applicant or beneficiary. If more than one registration is filed for a beneficiary, then all of those registrations filed for those beneficiaries will be considered invalid.
    • Employers cannot substitute names that were in the originally selected registrant during the filing. If so, such petitions will be denied or rejected.
  • US Masters Students Advantages with H1B Registration System: USCIS says that individuals with US Master’ degrees earn 19.6 percent more than individuals with bachelor’s degrees. So, the reversal of lottery selection will ensure higher pay and most skilled ones are working in the US on H1Bs. The change in lottery order will result in 16% ( about 5,340 more) more US Masters students being selected for H1B petition filings. DHS believes that the new rule is merit-based as the new lottery order will increase US masters students getting H1Bs.
  • Multiple Genuine Offers from Different Employers: USCIS does not prohibit an H1B applicant or beneficiary to have multiple employers ( not related to each other) submit registrations for them, if they have genuine job offers from such different employers
  • Reserve Registrations: USCIS will hold unselected registrations in reserve and conduct additional lottery selection as needed, if necessary.
  • Cost Savings with H1B Registration System : The cost savings with the new registration rule is about $43.4 million to $63.7 million annually for petitioners and the US Govt.
  • DHS Received 817 comments for during the 30 days comment period

You can check YouTube Video of H1B Registration Rule

Common FAQs

Below are some FAQs, but we have a separate article with 28 Common FAQs for H1B Registration

What is H1B Registration Fee?

The USCIS fee for each H1B Registration is $10 USD. This fee is used to support the H1B Registration online system. This fee is applicable for FY 2025 season as well, no changes. The fee will increase to $215 starting from FY 2026.

Can I submit registration directly as an applicant or need an employer?

No, you cannot submit H1B registration as an applicant directly. You need an H1B sponsor or employer to submit an H1B registration for you as a sponsor.

Do I need to have H1B LCA to file H1B registration

No need to submit H1B petition-related LCA details in the H1B registration system. It only needs to be submitted with the H1B petition during the filing process for selected registrants. No need to submit wage offered, and other details related to conditions of employment during registration.

When is the H1B Registration Fee changing to $215 USD?

The new $215 fee will be effective starting from April 1st, 2024. It will be applicable for H1B FY 2026 season. The fee will stay at $10 for FY 2025 season.

What do you think of the H1B Registration Rule?

Reference: H1B Registration Process – USCIS


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  1. Hi, I’m youdy Sainvil I living and Suriname I have very interested this program’s visa H1B
    Thank you so much.

  2. Hi
    What are the chances to get selected with all of more than 1 employer in pre-registration process? OR they are going to select one employer (job) regardless number of pre-registration different employers filed?

  3. My H1b was approved and stamped in 2018. I could never travel to the US due to personal reasons and the H1b/Petition validity expired in 2021 January.
    Now I intend to work in th US. Is there any potential processing advantage for me if I have an employer willing to sponsor a new H1b? Do they even need to register my details for the lottery or directly file LCA?

  4. Hi Kumar,

    Those who are not selected initial USCIS randomized lottery conducted recently .Is there any second chance or opportunity to get selected in this process as USCIS as per the new process this year.

    Basha s

  5. How does the USCIS determine the levels (Level 1, 2 or etc) if there is no wage rate included in the registration process. Does this mean you can register the applicant and once selected then file him in Level 1 and it gets approved.

    • Chandra,
      Probably, there is no need for such details to be submitted during registration process. We are yet to know the details from USCIS. Stay tuned for updates.

  6. Hi,
    is it okay to travel in march? I am travelling to india and will be back on 15th March. I will be going post the pre-registration.

    • D,
      Should be ok…but you need to be back by the time they submit application of h1B with USCIS…having said that, we are yet to see the registration system details on what needs to be submitted…like, if anything needs to submitted in there like COS or Consular processing…

      • Sreejith,
        Well, it is hard to say, your education credentials need to be evaluated for the college and program to check if they meet the requirements.

  7. * It will be great help if you answer the following question, please…!!!

    #How an employer will get notified about online Pre-Registration enrollment for FY2021 is open or not? and tentatively when it is proposed to be open for enrollment?

    # What documents will be required for Pre-registration enrollment as far as the employee concerns?What if INITIAL OPT EAD is expiring in FEB 2020 and STEM-OPT EAD is pending?

    # How much will be a processing time for the Pre-registration enrollment and results for selection for filling the H1B petition?

    # Can you please mention proposed time-lines with expected dates about the complete Pre-registration enrollment process and H1B filing petition process altogether?

    Thank You

  8. Hi Kumar,

    AD/ Non-PP/VT
    Could we still expect the H-1b check to get cashed out after the data entry is complete or it is over?

  9. Most of US Master degree H1B candidates are junk in comparison to Indian BS degree as the former one lacks experience. Of course there are exceptions that are coming from good US institutes. But 90% US masters are coming from junk private institutes with no experience and no brains.

    This eventually cut down skilled resources to US and will help foreign countries from brain dump.

  10. Hello Kumar. My opt expired and I took admission in second masters to maintain f1 status .I did not.go for cpt day 1 schools. Can my employer file h1b while i dont have a job ? is it possible since h1b is for future employment ??

    Please let me know


  11. How the just got Master Degree is defined highly skilled? How the new rules impact who have 15 year experience and bchel oi r degree from India? How the new rule impact those who convert L1B to H1B?

  12. Why is there conflict in article????? Rule effective date and proposed dates for new system… Point 3 and point 4 are contradictory..please confirm . And advise if otherwise…

    • The effective date when the regulation is in effect, it is more of formal date for rule making process… But, as they mentioned, they are not having the new H1B registration system for this upcoming FY 2020 season…so, the full proposed new system of registrations will be in full action for FY 2021 season. Hope it is clear.


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