In a new memorandum, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a $10 fee for the electronic pre-registration of each H1B visa petition for FY 2020’s cap season. This will be in addition to the total filing fee of nearly $4000 per application, depending upon whether the petitioner opts for premium processing or not among other things.
Last year, the DHS announced procedural changes to the H1B lottery system and introduced an electronic preregistration step prior to the cap lottery. All petitioners are to register their intent to file for a non-immigrant H1B visa during a designated two-week time-slot before the April 1st deadline each year. USCIS will then select a sample number based on specialty occupation, most advanced degrees and top salary brackets to go into the 85,000-lottery pool. This will eliminate the need for employers to fill out extensive paperwork and eliminate the costs associated with it.
H1B FILING FEES STURCTURE
Why is There a Pre-registration Fees for H1B?
This new preregistration process along with the addition of the $10 fee is introduced by USCIS to mitigate various issues that come with the excessive number of petitions each year. The primary reasons for a $10 fee for preregistration are –
- Generate funds to execute the registration process and support USCIS operations to adjudicate the H1B visa petitions.
- To prevent multiple H1B filings which is prohibited and can result in several punitive measures besides outright revocation.
What should you do if you have multiple H1B filings this year?
- To better manage the extensive number of petitions that come beyond the 85,000 annual quota.
- To regulate the exhaustive paperwork that comes with each application. With this preregistration, only the petitions approved will have to submit to the lottery.
The $10 ensures a spot within the annual lottery and improves the chances of getting through since only the final list approved by USCIS is competing.
This announcement comes among other things USCIS is implementing in the entire H1B process changes. For now, the new fee structure has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and is now open for public commentary until October 4, 2019. Once processed, it will be published in the Federal Register as a final rule and implemented in the oncoming cap lottery in April 2020.