Changes Proposed for the H-1B Lottery Process

03. Dec. 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed new rules that will likely be implemented for FY2021 (for cap-subject H-1B cases filed in year 2020).

The proposed rule would require employers seeking to file cap-subject H-1Bs to first electronically register each candidate (employees it wishes to file H-1Bs for).  Once the registration period is over, the random selection process will occur to choose 85,000 H-1B beneficiaries.  Employers would then file H-1B petitions for only the beneficiaries that were selected.  The proposed rule will alleviate USCIS of the burden of receiving and returning the unselected petitions.

Another change proposed by the new rule is reversing the random selection order by selecting 65,000 beneficiaries first, before selecting 20,000 beneficiaries who hold a U.S. master’s or higher degree. Key to this change is including all advanced degree candidates in the open lottery for 65,000 H-1Bs. This change will increase the odds for candidates with a U.S. master’s or higher degree. It is estimated that the number of advanced degree H-1Bs will increase 16 percent (or 5,340 workers).