In February 2024, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) launched its new online Organizational Account, which allows for the online filing of H-1B petitions and enhances collaboration between clients and legal representatives. The Organizational Account automatically upgraded the legacy USCIS account, and pre-existing users will see their new Organizational Account the first time they log in after the launch.

Since companies and legal representatives must use the Organizational Account to submit registrations for the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap lottery, understanding the new platform prior to registration is essential.[1]  However, the purpose of this article is not to review the H-1B registration procedure in the Organizational Account. This article instead identifies the very essentials of the Organizational Account itself, including 1) definitions and collaboration; 2) user permissions and creation of the Company Group and Legal Team; and 3) enhanced features and limitations.

  1. Definitions and Collaboration
  • “Organizational Account” is the new online platform where Companies and Legal Representatives can submit H-1B registrations, file petitions, and collaborate.
  • “Company” is a business seeking to hire foreign workers.
  • “Company Group” includes the Company employees who collaborate in the Organizational Account.
  • “Administrator” is the Company employee who initiates and oversees the Company Group.
  • A Company must have a Company Group and an Administrator.
  • “Member” is any other company employee in the Company Group who helps prepare filings.
  • Different Company Groups cannot collaborate online with each other.
  • “Legal Team” includes the Legal Representative and Paralegal(s).
  • “Legal Representative” initiates and oversees the Legal Team.
  • A Legal Team must have a Legal Representative (and can only have one Legal Representative) but can have zero, one, or more Paralegals.
  • “Paralegal” is invited to the Legal Team and helps prepare filings.
  • A Paralegal can only be part of one Legal Team.
  • A Legal Team can collaborate with the Company Group but is not part of the Company Group.
  • A Legal Team can collaborate with more than one Company Group.
  1. User Permissions and Creation of Company Group and Legal Team
  • There are different account permissions for Legal Representatives, paralegals, Administrators, and Members.
  • Legal Representative has broad permissions, including the ability to create a Company Group for a client.
  • Legal Representative can create the Company Group and invite the Administrator.
  • However, the Legal Representative cannot add Members to the Company Group.
  • When the Legal Representative creates the Company Group for a client, the Administrator receives an email inviting the Administrator to collaborate, accesses the link, creates an account (or logs into an existing account), and can add Members.
  • Administrators also have broad permissions and can do everything the Legal Representative can do except create the Legal Team and file Form G-28.
  • Administrators can create the Company Group and invite the Legal Representative to collaborate.
  • Before the Legal Representative or client takes any action in the Organizational Account, they need to meet and decide who will create the Company Group, who will invite the others for collaboration, and what the roles will be for anyone else in the Legal Team and Company Group.
  • Legal Representatives and Administrators can modify their teams at any time.
  • Legal Representative must submit Form G-28 with each filing for a Company client.
  • Legal Team can only work on forms that it starts for a Company client (it cannot work on forms that the Company starts).
  • A Paralegal can only be on one Legal Team and must be given permission to work with a particular Company client.
  • On the Legal Team, only the Legal Representative can respond to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny.
  1. Enhanced Features and Limitations
  • Organizational Account allows for fully electronic H-1B cap process, from H-1B registration to H-1B petition filing.
  • Non-cap and cap-exempt H-1B petitions (including extension, amendment, change of employer, and change of status petitions) can also be filed in the Organizational Account.
  • Companies and their Legal Representatives can still file paper-based H-1B petitions.
  • Concurrent Form I-907 premium processing filing is available for H-1B filings in the Organizational Account.
  • Legal Team and Company Group collaborate through shared access to documents, including H-1B registration, Form G-28, Form I-129, and Form I-907.
  • Collaboration on H-1B registration and forms is streamlined with “invitations” replacing passcodes.
  • However, currently, I-129 petitions can only be filed for the H-1B classification in the Organizational Account.
  • Paper-filed H-1B petitions cannot be upgraded to premium processing using the Organizational Account.
  • Concurrent I-539 and I-765 filings are currently unavailable available in the Organizational Account.

For additional information regarding USCIS’ new online Organizational Account, recordings of the webinars titled “USCIS Organizational Accounts Overview for Legal Representatives” (January 24, 2024) and “USCIS Organizational Accounts Overview for Companies” (January 23, 2024) are posted on USCIS’ YouTube page. The PowerPoint slides USCIS used during these webinars are posted on USCIS’ Electronic Reading Room page. Finally, USCIS continues to: 1) update its Frequently Asked Questions on the Organizational Account and 2) schedule Upcoming National Engagements (including “Tech Talks”) on the Organizational Account.

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About the Author:

Ian Nesteruk is a Member in the firm’s Phoenix office.  He practices in the area of immigration law, representing corporate and individual clients in connection with non-immigrant employment-based visas, immigrant employment-based visas, and family-based immigration. His employment-based practice includes the industries of education, technology, science, health care, construction, and manufacturing. He has experience in a range of non-immigrant employment-based classifications, including H, TN, E, O, and P visas.  His immigrant employment-based experience includes recruitment-based cases, outstanding researcher and extraordinary ability petitions, and national interest waivers. You may reach Ian at 602-889-5358 or and you may visit his bio here.

[1] The registration period is open March 6, 2024 through March 22, 2024.

The post Introducing the USCIS’s New Online Organizational Account appeared first on Immigration Insights & Issues Blog.