Effective December 9, 2019 USCIS will Charge $10 Fee for H-1B Visa Registration
“Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens,” will be effective as of December 9, 2019. The fee will be $10 and will be required when registrations are submitted.
On September 3, 2019 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking. The notice of proposed rulemaking was in regards to filing H-1B cap-subject petitions. H1-B Visa's are Employment Visas. Petitioners seeking to file a H-1B cap-subject petition would be required to pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration submitted to USCIS.
USCIS operations are funded by fees collected for adjudication and naturalization services. USCIS stated that due to the amount of resources required to maintain the H-1B registration system they felt a proposal of a nominal fee of $10 per electronic registration submitted to USCIS would be appropriate to recover costs.
The Federal Register provided additional information regarding the proposed rule. Public comments were accepted from September 4, 2019 through October 4, 2019. During the time period, USCIS received only 22 comments and considered all submissions and offered public responses ahead of the final rule.
Last week on November 7, 2019, USCIS announced the final rule. USCIS will now require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers. This will take place once the electronic registration system is implemented.
Once the new system is implemented petitioners seeking to file H1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will first have to electronically register with USCIS. This requirement must be completed within the designated registration period unless said requirement is temporarily suspended.
Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli stated that “[t]his effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B selection process.” Further stating that, “[t]he electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity.”
I personally attended the San Diego County Bar Association’s: Immigration Section Event: “Immigration USCIS District Director Updates” featuring USCIS District Director Alanna Y. Ow on Friday, November 1, 2019. USCIS District Director Ow also discussed USCIS’ efforts to modernize and process applications more efficiently though an agency-wide effort. At this Event Director Ow opened the floor up for questions and comments regarding the processing of applications and personally took note of practitioner’s comments with hopes to improve troubled issues. It's safe to say USCIS is listening to petitioners.
The final rule, “Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens,” will be effective as of December 9, 2019. The fee will be required when registrations are submitted. USCIS is schedule to implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed testing of the new electronic registration system.
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