H-1B Pre-Registration

What is "Pre-Registration" all about?
Frequently asked questions
H-1B Pre-Registration

  • 1. What is the H-1B Pre-registration?

    Pre-registration is a new method for USCIS to manage the high volume of H-1B petitions which are subject to a numerical quota every year. The first set of entries will be accepted between:

    March 1 @ 12:00pm EST - March 20, 2020 @ 12:00pm EDT.

    There is no advantage to submitting the pre-registration entry on March 1 compared to later in the pre-registration period.

  • 2. What information has to be included with the pre-registration?

    1. Employer’s legal name, DBA (if applicable), FEIN, contact information

    2. Employee’s name, gender, date and place of birth, passport number

    3. Whether employee has a Master’s degree

  • 3. What are the chances of being selected in the pre-registration lottery?

    Over the past few years, there have been approximately 200,000 submissions for the combined 65,000 "regular" H-1B visas and 20,000 US master's H-1B visas.

    This is the first year of the pre-registration process so there is no historical data to predict the number of entries. However, given that the burden to submit a pre-registration entry is substantially less than submitting a full petition, we are predicting 500,000+ entries.

    This means that the chances of being selected if the applicant has a US master's degree is expected to be 25% - 50%, while others should expect only a 10% - 20% chance of being selected.

  • 4. If the entry is selected in the pre-registration, does that mean that the application is approved?

    No. It means that you will be invited to submit a full petition to the USCIS. You will have at least 90 days to submit the petition, expected to occur from April 1 until June 30.

  • 5. Does the beneficiary have to possess a US master's degree before March 20?

    No. The entry can be entered into both the "regular" cap and the US master's cap so long as the applicant will complete their US master's degree prior to filing the full petition. This means that a graduation date prior to June 30 should permit a filing under the master's cap.

  • 6. If the entry is selected, is it necessary to file a full petition?

    Yes. Failure to file the full petition could be deemed a fraudulent entry in the registration system. The employer could be subject to monetary fines or criminal penalties. The government has not provided information about whether there are any circumstances which would excuse a failure to file.

  • 7. Can we file more than one entry?

    Only one entry is permitted per employee per unique employer FEIN.

  • 8. Could an individual have more than one potential employer submit an entry?

    Yes, but both the employer and the individual must be intending to proceed with the H-1B petition if selected.

  • 9. Is there a fee to enter the pre-registration system?

    Yes. $10 per entry.

  • 10. What is included in Matten Law's pre-registration service?

    a. We will conduct an initial consultation and basic assessment. The company and the applicant must complete two short user-friendly online questionnaires which should take no longer than 5 minutes.

    b. Matten Law will make the $10 government fee on behalf of our clients. Note that the beneficiary of an H-1B is not permitted to pay any fees associated with this process.

    c. Matten Law will assess whether the job title and/or the beneficiary's major field of study make the application high risk for a denial if the entry is selected in the pre-registration system. Business-related jobs should have a quantitative focus to maximize the chance of approval.

    d. The employer acknowledges that they will offer at least the prevailing wage. Note that H-1Bs for "entry" level positions have come under close scrutiny the past few years.

    e. Matten Law recommends obtaining a foreign educational equivalency evaluation if the individual’s degree is from a non-US university.

    f. Matten Law recommends a comprehensive assessment of employer-employee relationship and supporting docmentation if the individual will be working at a 3rd party worksite.

    g. The USCIS pre-registration system requires an electronic “hand-shake” with the employer to allow Matten Law to complete the pre-registration on its behalf. An entry is only complete in the USCIS system after the employer completes this hand-shake.

  • 11. Will Matten Law prioritize cases that are eligible for Cap Gap?

    The employer and individual are responsible for providing accurate information about current immigration status, including OPT expiration (if applicable). Matten Law will track this information, which will be used to prioritize case preparation once pre-registration selection results are provided by the USCIS.

  • 12. Can Matten Law guarantee approval if the entry is selected?

    No. We cannot guarantee any outcome. However, we have an excellent track record of success and will make sure you are aware if your application is at risk for an RFE or denial.

  • 13. Will USCIS offer premium processing service once the selection process is complete?

    As of mid-February, the USCIS has not yet provided information about the availability of premium processing service. Please check back for updates.