Proposed a fee of $10 per H-1B petition for 2020 H-1B Cap Filings

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a fee of $10 per H-1B petition. The agency considers this to be an “appropriate, nominal fee” to recover some costs involved.

In January 2019, DHS published the rule establishing an H-1B electronic registration system. At that time, no fee was proposed, but the “door was left open.” In mid-August, DHS announced that there would be a fee.

As to what information will be required, that is still a bit up in the air – again, the door is left open by DHS. The agency wants enough information to be able to check for fraud, duplicate registrations filed by the same company, and to ensure that those selected during the registration period ultimately file H-1B petitions. In addition to company identification, each registration would include the beneficiary’s:

Full name
Date of birth
Country of birth
Passport number

Each registration also will require the petitioner to complete an attestation about the “bona fides” of the registration. Frivolous registrations, DHS warns, “may be referred to appropriate federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and further action as appropriate.” Under a “catch-all,” DHS could require: “any additional basic information requested by the registration system to promote certainty.”

Some concerned about frivolous registrations suggested that information include job title, worksite address, salary offers, SOC code, LCA wage level, and specific educational qualifications. Others suggested including disclosure of any recent labor violations or disputes and EEOC complaints and whether the petitioner is H-1B dependent. DHS rejected these ideas (for now), noting that much of that information would be used to review eligibility once an H-1B petition is filed.

Questions remain about what DHS does with the information it gathers during the electronic registration. In accordance with the Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, DHS is already gathering and sharing much information on its H-1B Data Hub. The public can search the number of H-1B approvals and denials by company and by year. The public also can see, by employer, the number of approved H-1B petitions by salary and degree type. In addition to making the information public, DHS has stated in a description of the H-1B registration tool that it “may share the information with other Federal, State, local and foreign government agencies” and “may also share [the] information, as appropriate, for law enforcement purposes or in the interest of national security.” The full scope of this statement is not yet known.

It is unclear whether the electronic registration will be ready in 2020 or when the promised trial period for stakeholders will occur.

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