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Electronic Registration to Facilitate H-1B Visa Petitions

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on April 08, 2011

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (the “USCIS”) recently published a proposed rule that would ostensibly create a more rapid, efficient and cost-effective process for businesses interested in sponsoring foreign workers under the H-1B visa program.

Under this rule, before the start of an annual petition-filing period, employers seeking to sponsor H-1B workers would register electronically with the USCIS using a short-form process that would take less than 30 minutes, according to estimates.

Then, the USCIS would select the number of registrations predicted to exhaust the number of available visas under the applicable program (only the H-1B program initially). Employers would then file complete petitions only for the selected registrants.

This system is intended to save time, effort and expense for some employers who currently file many petitions in excess of the statutory limit in hopes that they will be approved.

The proposed mandatory electronic registration process would also alleviate administrative burdens on the USCIS service centers.

Petitioners who might try to submit multiple registrations to “game” the system should know that the system will only accept the first petition filed by each employer and will reject all other duplicates.

The proposed rule can be found on-line in the Federal Register, and the USCIS encourages public comments on the proposal up until May 2, 2011.

If you are an employer or agent of an employer responsible for compliance with immigration rules, please do not hesitate to contact our office for help at (847) 564-0712. You are also welcome to visit the pertinent section of our Website for additional information about our services.