On Jan 31 2019 by Michele G. Madera

CLIENT ALERT: USCIS Changes H-1B Cap Process

Today, USCIS published the final rule revising the H-1B cap procedures. The overall goal of this change was to streamline the process for companies, as well as to consider the Buy American, Hire American Executive Order by revising the process so it is more beneficial to advanced degree holders. Here is a breakdown of the changes:

  • Reversal of the H-1B Lottery: The new process will consist of the lottery for all H-1B petitions to select the 65,000 petitions for the regular cap (Bachelor’s degree holders and above). Once that lottery is complete, the remaining beneficiaries who have advanced degrees from U.S. universities will get placed in the second lottery to select the additional allotment of 20,000 Master’s degree cases. This will take effect on April 1, 2019 so it will impact this year’s H-1B cap season. The intended result is to award more U.S. Master’s degrees holders H-1B status. Estimates indicate that this will increase the number of H-1Bs issued to U.S. Master’s degree holders, and decrease the number issued to other qualified workers, by about 16%, or more than 5,000 cases.
  • Electronic Pre-registration: With an estimated start of April 2020, USCIS will have an online registration form for employers to submit their entrances in the H-1B lottery. Employers will have 14 days to submit the registration forms for each potential H-1B beneficiary. USCIS will then conduct the lottery based on the registration, and employers will then submit the full and complete H-1B petitions for the selected entrants during the filing period, which is supposed to last at least 90 days.

We are monitoring these changes very closely. Please contact your Klasko attorney to discuss how these changes may impact your business.