Tuesday, January 8, 2019

H-1B COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED

Last month USCIS published two proposed rules to the H-1B cap process.  As we noted on December 5, 2018:

 The two rules are:

1.    Electronic pre-registration for the H-1B cap.  This is a proposed rule that has been considered by USCIS since 2011.  Under the proposal, 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 have 60 days to submit the actual H-1B petition.  If implemented properly, this should save petitioners and the industry significant expense.

2.    H-1B Masters Cap Allocation Preference.  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 Masters Degree H-1B Beneficiaries than under the current H-1B lottery.  We previously explained this process on an earlier blog.

Now that the comment period has ended the USCIS must read and consider all of the comments, which were plentiful.  Many of the comments focused on the fact that rushing this proposal forward for the April 1, 2019 H-1B cap is a bad idea.  MU Law agrees that the USCIS is moving too fast with these recommendations.

The USCIS has not announced a timetable for a decision as to whether the proposed changes will be adopted and, if so, whether they will go into effect for April 2019.  It is however expected that they will make a decision by February.



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