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USCIS Update[Feb 2020] on H1B Registration Process, Dates, Tool for FY 2021

USCIS yesterday had a stakeholder conference call, where they shared the complete process, including dates and various details on the implementation the new H1B Visa Registration rule that will be effective for H1B Visa 2021 season . They also showed the final set of screens of the H1B online registration tool/ portal and went over the typical steps for submitting the registrations and addressed common questions. In this article, we will cover all of those details related to the new process.   

Below is the high level H1B Registration Process confirmed by USCIS.

High Level H1B Registration Process for FY 2021

On a very high level, below are the high-level steps and process. It is not much different from what was outlined in the past.

  • Step 1: Employer or H1B Sponsor creates USCIS H1B Registrant 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 get confirmation on the payment and can review the submitted registrations
  • Step 7: Employer can delete any duplicate entries, if needed before March 20th.
  • Step 8 :USCIS conducts H1B Visa Lottery as needed and informs the Employer on 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 fiscal year and if met, they will inform registrants the registrations that were not selected.

USCIS Latest Update on New H1B Registration Process, Tool, Dates

 USCIS explained various aspects of the new H1B registration system and process for FY 2021 season. Some of the information they mentioned was already shared by them in the past. Yesterday they confirmed the same again. Below are the various details that they covered related to the registration process and other areas.

  • New H1B Registrant Account : USCIS said that all employers need to create a new USCIS Online Account by going to USCIS Homepage > Tools > myUSCIS (Under Self Service Tools) or directly go to https://my.uscis.gov/ and then choose account type as “I am an H1-B registrant” during the last step of the sign-up process. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like.  H1B Registrant Account Type USCIS Sign up Process
  • H1B Registrant Account Creation Dates : H1B sponsors or employers can create the H1B registrant accounts starting from  10 AM EST from February 24th, 2020 and will be open until March 20th, 2020.  So, if you try to create a new account now as registrant, you will NOT see the above option of H1B registrant, so do not create account now. You need to wait until Feb 24th, 2020.  
  • H1B Registration Dates for FY 2021: USCIS will enable the option in the online USCIS Portal for employers or H1B registrants to start submitting their H1B registrations for their employees or applicants starting from March 1st, 2020 and it will be open until March 20th, 2020.  It will be open until March 20th noon time EST.  You cannot submit H1B registrations before March 1st, you can only create the registrant account. This is no different from what was announced in last December 2019. You can check previous info at article H1B Online Registration Confirmed by USCIS
  • Limits on H1B Registrations Per Batch, Total : There is no limit on total number of H1B registrations that an employer can submit during the period. The only restriction is that they can only submit 250 registrations per batch. They can submit as many batches as they can.
  • System Checks Completeness, Not accuracy : They mentioned that USCIS H1B online registration system only checks for completeness of the data, but not the accuracy of info submitted. Meaning, they will only see, if information is entered or not, but they will not validate if that is correct or wrong. It is employer’s responsibility to avoid duplicates or wrong info.
  • CSV Export Option for Review : The H1B online registration system will have an option to export the total entries that are entered by a user to CSV file and review in Excel or another tool like Google Docs to review for duplicates before submission. They mentioned that, if multiple HR people or immigration people are submitting entries, it is their responsibility to ensure that they are not submitting duplicates. System will NOT tell or flag the duplicate entries.
  • Payment for each H1B Registration : It is $10 USD per H1B registration submitted by the employer. It is same as before, no changes.
  • Payment done using Pay.gov, Issues with Payments : The payment process at the last step of submission is handled by Pay.gov, which is managed by Treasury department. You can pay using ACH, Credit or Debit cards. There will be a confirmation once payment is successful stating it is successful. If any issues with payment, you can go back and complete the payment again, all your previous registrations data will exist.
  • Review and Delete H1B Registrations, Submitted Status: Once the payment is done, you can see all the submissions and they would have a status saying submitted. You have a choice to Delete as well. You can download and verify for duplicates and then delete as needed.  This is to fix any issues, if same employee is name entered by HR or immigration teams twice by mistake. See below screenshot of how it looks. H1B Registrations Submissions Screen
  • H1B Registrations Lottery Selection Statuses: After the submission of the H1B registrations, you can see change of status for some or all of your registrations once USCIS runs the H1B Lottery for the registrations. This will happen before March 31st.  If you are selected in H1B lottery, you will see that employee or beneficiary status as Selected. If there was a duplicate entry, then you will see the status as Denied (duplicated). If you are not selected, then you will see ‘Not Selected’ Status. See below screenshot on how it actually looks in the system. H1B Registrations Lottery Selected - Not Selected - Denied Statuses
  • Submitted Status until Fiscal Year quota is closed :  You may continue to see Submitted Status for the ones that are not selected. They will remain in Submitted status until USCIS closes out petitions required for Fiscal year 2021 quota…Once USCIS decides they do not need any more petitions, then the status would change to ‘Not Selected’. So, you may or may not see that immediately by March 31st.
  • 90 Days to File H1B Petition:  Once a beneficiary or applicant is selected in the Registration Lottery, the employer or registrant would get 90 days to do the actual H1B filing. They need to submit the entire application with relevant fee, LCA  for the H1B, and all supporting documentation.  The 90 days window starts from April 1st and will last until June 30th.
  • Selection Notice Print and Submit, Filing Center :  The selected applicant need to print the selected notice and it has to be submitted along with the actual H1B petition. The filing center on where to send the petition will be listed on the selection notice. Employer needs to send the petition to that location.
  • H1B Lottery More than Once : USCIS may do lottery more than once, as needed to fill the required H1B quota for the Fiscal year 2021.  As this is first year, they are also not sure, how many would be needed to complete the cap. If you look at H1B Lottery Cap Selection History, they usually select about 13% to 15% more petitions than the total cap as buffer to factor in for rejections and other incomplete petitions.  So, USCIS is saying the same thing here.
  • H1B Registration Close / Open : USCIS said, they may open the H1B registrations period as needed. If they open again, they will inform everyone and the same would reflect on the H1B registration online system on the screen. It will look like below screenshot. H1B Registrations Open or Closed for Filing Registration
  • Duplicates Run, before Running H1B Lottery : USCIS said, they will run first to identify the duplicates before they run the actual lottery. So, in the first pass all the duplicates are taken out and then the ones that are not duplicates are used for the actual lottery. The process is same as described before.
  • H1B Registration Screens :  The H1B registration tool screens are pretty similar to the ones that were released by USCIS in the draft. Check out article  H1B Registration Tool Screens and Flow for more info. We will update that article with changes.
  • Common FAQs on H1B Registration : We have put together FAQs article that outlines common things, check out 27 H1B Registration FAQs

What do you think of the new H1B Registration Process ? What are your thoughts ?


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  1. Hi, I have scheduled my visa interview for Feb 2021. I learnt that the visa dates are getting cancelled, if not an emergency case. I am in Canada on PR my husband works in US on H1B. I am pregnant and would need husband’s assistance. Will this be considered an emergency case to keep my appointment. Should I inform about my Situation to the embassy. Thank you

  2. My wife just got the RFE on her H1 2021 for duplicate entries with different date of birth (employer entered wrong Date of Birth but quickly deleted and resubmitted). Is anyone else in a similar situation. Also, what do you think the chances are for a H1 approval in this case?

  3. Hi, My H1B application was selected in the lottery but the passport number entered by the attorney is wrong. Can this be corrected ? Are there any repercussions of the error that I should be scared about. Thank you.

    • help me,
      It is hard to know at this point. If it was an honest mistake USCIS may accept it…but, they have the right to reject too…Only your attorney can write a letter indicating the mistake and ask for consideration…

  4. HI,

    My H1B 2021 registration got picked up in lottery but my Date of birth and passport number entered by my employer is incorrect, how can I get it corrected.

    What will happen if I file and submit a petition, does it get rejected as my details on Form I797C are incorrect.

    • KKumar,
      It cannot be corrected, if it was a honest mistake, USCIS may consider that. Your attorney has to explain that in a letter and request. Talk to your attorney…

  5. Hi Kumar,
    It was my last chance in lottery this year, it was in master’s cap i got my rejection, can you suggest me how to get into lottery March 2021 next year filing. Thanks for being very responsive


    • Akil,
      You would not be rejected yet, they are all in submitted status. There may be a chance of second run, we do not know..so, fingers crossed.
      You need to find a company that can sponsor you for next year, that’s the same approach like this year.

      • Hi Kumar,
        Thanks. My OPT status will be expiring in Jan 2021

        1) If i try job through consultants, without work permit, how can the consultant file for lottery March 2021
        2) After OPT expires, for March 2021 lottery, can it be applied in Master’s cap


        • AKil,
          In general, you need a job to apply for H1B..Now, a company or maybe an IT body shop can apply, if they have a role for you in March of nex year…If you are eligible for Masters cap, then yes.

  6. Hi Kumar

    Thanks for your reply, do you think there will be a second round, and do you know when they will update the status


    • Akil,
      Hard to say at this point. This year, there would be some drop in filings due to COVI-19, so we may expect second round…Only we can see some update after Jun 30th..

  7. Hi,

    My employer was saying he was only seeing submitted status and after that i dint get update from them about my status.

    In this case is it rejected


  8. Hello ! I have been selected on the lottery for H1B, however the employer entered all the information right appart from my date of birth (1 year younger). Do you think it can be fixed or my visa will be rejected right away. Many thanks

    • Cathy,
      This is something that needs to be handled by Attorney, giving an explanation of the mistake. If all the details are correct and it is a typo, it maybe fine…Discuss with your attorney…

  9. Hi Kumar,

    Need your help here very urgent to understand the scenario in below case:
    L1B Extension (Premium Processing) is in RFE and response needs to be filed within April 2nd 2020. I94 expired on March 5 2020. In this case,

    1. If the employer miss to submit the response on time (the current situation looks like the employer may delay a week to file the RFE response)
    a. Can we extend our stay in US? If so what is the time line that we can extend our stay in US in this situation?
    2. If submitted on time, Will it be in Premium or regular processing?

    • Priya,
      They have cancelled premium processing for new cases. Not sure, how they will handle your case. The situations now are difficult for everyone, hopefully USCIS considers these during adjudication.

    • Rajalakshmi,
      If you are in US, you do not need to have valid Visa, all you need is valid approval and maintain status. If you are out of US, then nothing can be done, you need to wait…

  10. Hello,

    I have 2 question regarding H1B for fiscal year 2020 process.

    (1) My employer submitted 5 employee H-1 B this 2020 Fiscal year and now employer wants to add more 3 employee and i didn’t see option for that and do i need to follow same process again with same account which i followed earlier for 5 employee ??

    (2) My employer has 2 different sister company so is that advisory to apply all candidate from both company any and what next if selected from both ?

    • sumit,
      1. they should see it. Ask them to call USCIS. there should be an option to see Add beneficiary.
      2. if they have separate EIN numbers and separate entities they can file separately.

  11. My attorney deleted one beneficiary so that the Status for that Beneficiaries changed to Deleted, but the Status in the Form tab is still Submitted. And that beneficiary’s information is still there. There is no way to delete the Form.

    If I am gonna add that employee again without using the attorney, will he be considered a duplicate beneficiary?

  12. Hi Kumar,

    If two employers filed H1B registration for the same beneficiary:

    1. Will it be considered as duplicates?
    2. If not duplicates, if one of them picked, I see a smooth process.
    3. what if both of them picked?

    I need your suggestion, since you are aware of the process from long time. My wife tried all along her OPT (3 times) for H1B but no luck. We have already have one registration submitted and seeing options to find another employer for filing. But we are not sure to take that step (never tried more than one filing before)and get implications on the submitted one.

    Appreciate your help!


  13. Hi,

    Can an attorney file the actual H1b petition on April 1st, if selected in lottery and HR register a beneficiary during registration process? I mean, does it have to be same person (HR or Attorney) for both steps? or it can differ for registration and actual petition filing post selection.


    • SN,
      It can be different people. HR can register and an attorney can file later. What matters is that the H1B registration is done by the company representative like HR or immigration team of the company.

  14. I am in the process of getting a J1 Waiver and will apply for the H1B this year.
    Do you know if I get selected but don’t have the waiver ready by June 30th I can submit the application without it but then go to a consulate abroad when I have the waiver to adjust my status?

  15. Hi Kumar

    Do we need to submit the degree certificate and marksheets during the pre registration or while filing h1b which start from April 1st

  16. Hi!

    I graduated in Dec 2019. I am still looking for a job on my OPT, but can you tell me how many attempts do I get to file for my H1?


    • Kangana,
      You can file as many times as you want, no restriction. But, for you to try it when in US and when you are on OPT, you have only one, unless you have STEM OPT. after that you will have to apply from outside the country.

      • Thanks for the clarification Kumar. I am on stem opt and my Visa expires in 2023. So going by that, I can get two or three attempts to file h1 while I’m in the USA?

        Thanks in advance.

    • Joey,
      There is no way. The only way is that, if they share the details like screenshots or selected letter with you. It is no different from previous years…In the past too, they had to share the details..even with new system, they need to share details with you…

  17. Will they check for duplicate of beneficiary registered by two different employers using their (passport number/ First Name Last Name) on the duplicate run check?

    • MAN,
      We do not know how they will check…Yes, very likely. But, if the companies are not related, then they are not necessarily duplicates.

  18. Hi Kumar,

    What is the expected volume of H1B applications this year? Do you think it will lesser than the last year as the minimum wage and increase in Insurance premiums?

    Thank you for the work.

    • Harry,
      No, I don’t think there is such provision listed out yet. USCIS has not outlined on the implications of getting selected and not filing the same…

  19. How does the CAP-GAP work this year? Say, if my petition is selected by March31st, and I will be submitting other documents before end of June. My STEM extension expires by mid of June. Will I get automatic cap-gap till september30th?

    • Sri,
      If you file before the expiry of your OPT, you will get the cap gap extension. The end date of cap gap is reliant on the pending state or decision.


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