DHS Announces Final (New) Rule for H-1B Visa Program – Preregistration Pushed Back to 2020

30. Jan. 2019

This is a follow up to our January 28th article on this topic.

As ILG originally predicted in our December 3rd article, there is not enough time for USCIS to implement the electronic registration requirement for this H-1B cap season.  USCIS will need time to complete user testing and ensure the new preregistration system and process are fully functional before that process is implemented. Once implemented, the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file cap-subject H-1B  petitions to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.

The change that will take effect this cap-season is USCIS will first conduct a random selection process for ALL H-1B petitions submitted, including petitions for U.S. advanced degree holders.  Once 65,000 H-1B beneficiaries have been selected, many of whom will be holders of a U.S. advanced degree, USCIS will conduct a second random selection process to choose 20,000 beneficiaries who hold a U.S. advanced degree. Reversing the order of the two random selection processes is intended to improve the odds for those who hold a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education. The change will result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.