New online H-1B registration system to be ready for 2020 filing season: USCIS


Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security .


Purpose of immigration system is to improve U.S. economy first, says acting director.

For those wondering about the newly proposed online H-1B cap registration system and its implementation in the 2020 filing season, USCIS acting director, Ken Cuccinelli, had some answers.

The agency is currently testing the new registration tool, he told a Global Mobility and Immigration Symposium organized by SHRM, an HR industry professional organization in Washington D.C. on Nov. 5. But Cuccinelli was confident that it will be ready for use before the next filing season beginning in 2020.

USCIS had announced in January that organizations wishing to hire workers who hold H-1B visa, will have to first register with the agency using a new online registration system for the 2020 fiscal year.

Only randomly selected registered organizations will then be eligible to prepare and submit H-1B cap subject petitions, according to the new system.

Currently employers file lengthy paper applications and the agency hopes that the new system would help save millions of dollars for employers.

Cuccinelli said President Trump’s plan to reshape the U.S. immigration system to give greater preference to green card applicants’ skills over their family ties not only makes the country more competitive, but also prioritizes the needs of employers and the talent they seek.

“Our approach is that the purpose of the immigration system is to improve the U.S. economy and the American experience first,” he said.

“It’s not for the benefit of immigrants first. They’re beneficiaries, and we’re happy to have them as beneficiaries. It’s a balance that we’re wrestling with,” Cuccinelli added.

Talking about the touchy topic of foreign workers, he said: “With U.S. unemployment at a historic low, you’re going to have a tight labor market.”

“But at the same time, we want wages to go up for U.S. workers, and we want to encourage Americans to go into high-demand industries. If we’re going to fill every gap with foreign national workers, we’re going to depress wages for U.S. workers.”

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