USCIS PROPOSES H-1B REGISTRATION SYSTEM

USCIS is publishing tomorrow a proposed rule that could save U.S. businesses more than $23 million over the next 10 years by establishing an advance registration process for U.S. employers seeking to file H-1B petitions for foreign workers in the H-1B category.
The proposed electronic system would minimize administrative burdens and expenses related to the H-1B petition process—including reducing the need for employers to submit petitions for which visas would not be available under the statutory visa cap. While the filing fees are returned to employers if their application is not accepted, this proposed rule would eliminate the need for these employer to pay attorney fees and go through the administrative burdens (such as filing and posting the LCA — Labor Condition Application) if they are not selected for processing.
Under the proposed rule, employers seeking to petition for H-1B workers subject to the cap would register electronically with USCIS. This process would take an estimated 30 minutes to complete. Before the petition filing period begins, USCIS would select the number of registrations predicted to exhaust all available cap visas. Employers would then file petitions only for the selected registrations.
The proposed rule was posted at the federal register today at:
http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-04731_PI.pdf
This is followed by a 60-day comment period that will allow the general public to provide input on the proposed system. I am sure AILA as well as other organizations will contribute to the comments. The comment period runs for 60 days, beginning March 3, 2011, and ending on May 2, 2011. Formal comments should be filed through http://www.regulations.gov.

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