H-1B Lottery Reform
Business Immigration for the Hospitality Industry, O' Brien Law
On January 30, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a final rule amending the regulations for H-1B cap-subject visa petitions. The new rule, which takes effect on April 1, 2019 and will apply to all H-1B visa petitions filed during the upcoming FY 2020 H-1B Cap season, reverses the order in which H-1B petitions are selected under the H-1B Lottery system. Under reversed selection, the 65,000 cap-subject H-1B Petitions are selected first, and the 20,000 H-1B beneficiaries that are eligible for the advanced degree exemption, known as the "Master's Cap", are selected second, from the remaining advanced degree H-1B petitions.
Changing the order in which U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations. USCIS estimates that the change will result in an increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a U.S. master's degree or higher.
USCIS has also announced that it will be suspending its planned new electronic registration requirement for H-1B Petitioning employers for the upcoming FY 2020 Cap Season. Thus, Employers may proceed to file H-1B Petitions with USCIS on April 1, 2019 without having to first register with USCIS.
H-1B Employers that have not yet contacted their immigration counsel to prepare for the upcoming FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season, should do so as soon as possible. Advanced preparation is necessary to ensure the highest likelihood of success under current regulatory and adjudicatory standards.
Please contact O'Brien Law LLC if you should have any questions, or, would like our assistance in pursuing H-1B sponsorship.