The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is modernizing its immigration system to deter fraud, improve vetting processes and for strengthening the integrity of the program. Acting director of USCIS, Mr. Ken Cuccinelli said that an electronic registration system is being implemented to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration program. He further added that the change in the registration process will be in favor of both the petitioners and the Federal agencies. To support the changes in the registration process, an additional fee of $10 shall be levied on the applicants.
Under the H1-B program, US companies are allowed to temporarily employ foreign nationals for specific occupations that require specialized expertise. On implementation of the said electronic registration system, a petitioner will have to electronically register with UCIS during a designated registration period. The petitioners who are eligible for advanced degree exemption will also have to register electronically unless the requirement is suspended.
UCIS had initially informed about the new electronic registration process vide a public notice on 4th September 2019. Followed by which a 30-day long public comment period was given. 22 comments were received by UCIS in the 30 days comment period. The agency had suitably responded to the comments and announced the implementation of the final rule on 9th December 2019. The new rule has come into effect from 9th December 2019. Though the formal decision is yet to be made. UCIS plans to implement the new registration process for the FY21 HI-B cap selection process, once the testing of the new system is completed.