The USCIS posted for public inspection a final rule changing the regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions. This new makes two key changes to the H-1B cap:
1. Master’s Cap Allocation. The new rule reverses the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the master’s cap. USCIS will technically re-engineer the way that it conducts the H-1B lottery. The result of the re-engineering should mean that a slightly greater number of H-1B petitions will be approved for US master’s degree H-1B beneficiaries than under the current H-1B lottery system. We previously explained this process on an earlier blog. This change will be implemented on April 1, 2019.
2. Pre-Registration Requirement. The rule introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. Under the new rule, all H-1B lottery petitions will need to be electronically pre-registered during the H-1B pre-registration period from April 1-7. After the pre-registration period has concluded, USCIS will run the H-1B lottery. All H-1B lottery winners will then submit the actual H-1B petition. If implemented properly, this should save petitioners and the industry significant expense.
After considering public feedback, USCIS decided to suspend the electronic pre-registration requirement until the April 2020 cap season in order to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional.
USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions on April 1, 2019.