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Tips and Approaches for the New H-1B Cap Season

by | Dec 12, 2019 | H-1B/H-4, Immigration, Immigration Tips

USCIS just announced the new electronic registration process for H-1Bs in 2020. 

With the new process, employers will first provide general information about the company and each potential H-1B worker (and pay a $10 registration fee) starting on March 1st — beginning the process a month earlier than previous years.

Conceptually, I think electronic registration is a good idea. And expecting that the process would change, we began to prepare for the changes and H-1B filings. 

Since the timeline for filing is even tighter than usual, strategic planning and work are required earlier and before registration.

Identify Candidates Now

Because no candidate substitutions are expected, employers need to choose prospective beneficiaries carefully and early. 

There will be a temptation to file a registration for any candidate for whom a cap petition could be filed. However, DHS has indicated that employers that abuse the system could be referred to “a law enforcement agency for further review and possible action.”

The Marks Gray Immigration Team’s Approach

USCIS has advised that it will post instructions about how to complete the registration process, along with key dates and timelines, as the initial registration period nears. 

Pending ongoing updates and changes from USCIS, we plan the following approach for the 2020 H-1B cap process:


Starting now and continuing in January, we will:

  • review the list of potential candidates with our clients, as well as the position, salary, and candidate’s background;
  • analyze the eligibility and likelihood of approval of the H1B petition for each particular candidate;
  • collect all the information required for registration;
  • collect key documentation required for the H1B filing if the petition is selected;
  • and prepare the information and documentation to support the LCA.

We also expect to begin collecting some of the most time-consuming information and documentation needed for an H-1B filing, such as projects in support of specialty occupation, 

organizational charts, and team composition.


Submit and pay a separate registration for each H-1B cap candidate selected by the employer during the registration period – March 1, 2020, through March 20, 2020.

Only one registration per beneficiary, per employer, is allowed. Substitutions for the named beneficiary are not allowed.


In the short period following the selection of a petition, we will undertake the process of preparing and finalizing the additionally required immigration forms and supporting documents that a successful application needs, including complexity of operations, contracts and projects in support of the need for the foreign national, team members supporting documentation, and more. 

Filing for selected H1B petitions starts on April 1st, 2020. Those selected will be notified that they are eligible to file an H-1B petition within a designated filing period to be determined.

As more information is released about the changes to the process, we will let you know as soon as possible. Stay tuned!



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