The H-1B season is winding down, with 43 days left in the H-1B petition filing period. If you are an immigration lawyer or employer preparing an H-1B petition (or the beneficiary of an H-1B petition), you may want to consider the following:
1. File your petition early!
USCIS will not permit petitioners to submit applications outside of the 90-day filing period (April 1 to June 30, 2021). It is best to file early inasmuch as shipping delays can cause applications submitted at the last minute to be untimely. Additionally, filing early allows you to mitigate negative consequences that may arise from improper filings. USCIS will adjudicate petitions in the order in which they have been received.
2. File your petition with the service center listed on your registration selection notice. Service center assignment is not based on the employer’s location.
3. Ensure all information on the registration selection notice, especially the beneficiary confirmation number, is listed accurately on all petition documents. Missing pertinent information may result in the petition being rejected or denied. The beneficiary confirmation number can only be used for the beneficiary and company listed on the notice.
4. Ensure that the employment start date is not earlier than October 1, 2021. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the petition being rejected or denied.
5. Include certified translations of all foreign educational qualifications.
6. Ensure that all information listed on the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) and Form I-129 is consistent. For example, the beneficiary’s job title, worksite, and compensation.
7. Ensure that all checks associated with the petition are signed, dated, and list the correct figures. All checks must be made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. Abbreviations are impermissible. The filing fee and American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) training fee can be paid with a single check. However, petitioners must pay the fraud fee and premium processing fee separately. The training fee is determined by the number of employees that the petitioning organization employs. Petitioners must ensure that they file the correct fee. Petitioners must document the workforce size in Form I-129 (see pg. 20, section 2, question 9).
8. Beneficiaries already present in the U.S. and requesting a change of status must maintain their nonimmigrant status during the H-1B adjudication period.
For example, F-1 students who have a valid OPT EAD (when the H-1B petition is filed) may continue to work until September 30, 2021, even if the EAD expires before the date. Beneficiaries who have an expired OPT EAD (on the date that the H-1B petition is filed) but who are in their F-1 grace period remain in valid status. However, such individuals cannot work until the start of their H-1B employment.
9. File duplicates of all H-1B submissions (including RFE or NOID responses). This is necessary as one copy is scanned and uploaded to the Petitioner Information Management System (PIMS) at the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC).
A Guide to H-1B Online Registration Status
The sponsoring employer (or their legal representative) must electronically submit an H-1B registration using their USCIS online account during the annual registration period and pay the $10 fee. For 2022, registration was open between March 9, 2021, and March 25, 2021.
After submitting an H-1B registration, a registrant’s USCIS online account will reflect the “submitted” status.
If a registrant is selected in the H-1B lottery to file a petition, their status will change to “selected”.
Registrants may also have their registrations denied. If a registrant was neither selected nor denied, his/her status would remain as “submitted”.
If USCIS requires additional petitioners to meet the annual H-1B cap, “submitted” registrants may be selected to file an H-1B petition. USCIS may also opt to re-open the registration period to meet any shortfall.
At the end of the fiscal year, all “submitted” statuses will be updated to “not selected”.
If you would like to petition for a foreign worker or discuss any other immigration matter, please contact us here.
We assist countless foreign nationals and we will be happy to personally assist you with your application as well. Send us an E-mail or call us at (888)354-6257. For reasons on why you should consult an immigration attorney whenever you have an immigration issue, see our page titled: Reasons Why it is Vital to Use an Immigration Lawyer.