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The CIS Ombudsman's Webinar Series: Overview of the H-1B Electronic Registration Process for Attorneys and Representatives

On March 4, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) hosted a public webinar regarding U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) H-1B electronic registration process for attorneys and representatives.

During the webinar, USCIS subject matter experts (SMEs) provided a step-by-step instructional overview of the H-1B electronic registration process in myUSCIS for attorneys and representatives. USCIS clarified that legal representatives and registrants who already have a myUSCIS account may use an existing account to participate in the electronic registration process and noted that an email address that has already been used to create a myUSCIS account cannot be used to create another account. Also, if a representative withdraws a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, myUSCIS does not delete submitted registrations. A registrant or representative may delete a registration before it is submitted via their myUSCIS account, but there is no mechanism to withdraw or delete a submitted registration after the initial registration period closes.

The CIS Ombudsman engaged in a conversation with USCIS SMEs about the issues that emerged during last year’s electronic registration, selection, and filing process. USCIS highlighted that the selection notice will indicate under which cap the registration was selected (either the regular cap or the advanced degree exemption).

USCIS also shared that the most common reasons for rejections of fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap subject petitions were due to providing a start date other than October 1 on the petition, incorrect fees, and filing outside the window identified on the selection notice. USCIS provided the following filing tips to avoid rejection:

  • If your selected registration was submitted during the initial registration period of March 9 to March 25, you must indicate a start date of October 1, 2021 on your petition.
  • Ensure that the information provided during the electronic registration process matches the information provided on the petition.
  • File the petition with the correct USCIS service center, as indicated on the selection notice.
  • File your petition as early as possible within the 90-day window.

A total of 710 stakeholders joined this webinar (attorneys/legal representatives – 77%, employers – 9%, government workers – 3%, advocacy groups – 1%, petitioners/applicants – 3%, and others – 7%). Participants submitted 90 written questions and the speakers answered as many as they could during the engagement. Question topics included the timeline for setting up a myUSCIS account, whether accounts created last year could be used again this year, and best practices for filing H-1B petitions.

Below is a sample of the questions received:

  • What will the petition filing window be this year?
  • Will employers be able to use their "H-1B registrant" accounts created last year for FY 2022 H-1B cap registration?
  • Will a client need to go through the Form G-28 approval this year, if they did this last year?
  • Instead of registering registrants one at a time, is there a way to upload a large batch of registrants at once?
  • Does an employer need a new selection for this fiscal year, if a second-round selection from last year was ultimately denied due to listing a start date later than October 1, 2020?
  • How do we make changes to the employer/registrant address or changes related to the employer representative/authorized signatory?

The CIS Ombudsman will share a full list of inquiries with USCIS to give the agency an opportunity to address the public’s concerns.

Speakers

  • Nathan Stiefel, Acting CIS Ombudsman at the CIS Ombudsman, DHS
  • Bertha Anderson, Chief of Public Engagement at the CIS Ombudsman, DHS
  • Michael Onka, Senior Advisor at the CIS Ombudsman, DHS
  • Jennifer Lapidow, Management and Program Analyst at USCIS
  • Kristal Lightning, Product Manager at USCIS
  • Richard Collins, Immigration Services Officer at USCIS
Created Date: March 10, 2021
Last Published Date: March 10, 2021
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