DHS Releases Final Rule Amending Regulations Governing H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advanced copy of the Final Rule titled “Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap Subject Aliens” that changes the order in which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and implements an electronic registration process for H-1B cap petitions. The rule will go into effect on April 1, 2019. However, USCIS stated that the registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year 2020 cap season to enable the Service to ensure full functionality of the system.

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USCIS Publishes NPRM Outlining H-1B Lottery Pre-Registration Process

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Today, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens” that will implement an electronic pre-registration process for H-1B cap petitions wherein a full H-1B petition would be submitted only after acceptance in the pre-registration lottery. The change stems from directives in the April 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, which call for reforms to the H-1B visa program to ensure that H-1Bs go to the “most-skilled” and “highest-paid” foreign workers. The rule is aims streamline the H-1B lottery process and increase the probability of selection for H-1B beneficiaries who possess a U.S. master’s or higher degree.

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