USCIS Has Announced a Proposed Change to the H-1B Cap-Subject Selection Process

Posted: 11/30/18  |  Revised: 12/05/18

USCIS has announced on Twitter that the new H registration process will likely NOT be implemented in 2019, but rather next year.  Therefore, we expect that the H-1B process for the upcoming April 1, 2019 season will be the same as last year, i.e., without a lottery registration.

USCIS has announced a proposed change to the H-1B cap-subject selection process. Under the new rule, employers seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition will first submit an electronic registration for each beneficiary during a yet-to-be-announced submission period this winter. USCIS will then randomly select registrations that would then be eligible for filing an H-1B cap-subject petition during an associated filing period in the spring or summer. The new rule is currently in a notice and comment period but is expected to be finalized in mid-January.

Employers will only be permitted to submit one registration per sponsored foreign national and no substitution of beneficiary will be allowed. The lottery will be conducted shortly after the submission period and employers will be notified thereafter the lottery as to whether their registration on behalf of a beneficiary has been selected. Winning employers will then be provided a two-month filing period during which H-1B petition must be filed.

The new process will also change the selection sequence of cases for US masters’ degree holders. USCIS will now first select 65,000 from all registrations for the regular H-1B cap, then select an additional 20,000 from the masters’ degree group. This will likely result in an increase of approximately 5,000 U.S. masters’ cases being selected (with a corresponding loss from the non-U.S. masters group).

This new process is a welcome change as it alleviates the costs associated with preparing and submitting a full H 1B case that may never be selected in the lottery.

As soon as the new rule is finalized we will let you know the finalized USCIS procedures and our process for handling the lottery registration.