On January 30, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced the publication of a Final Rule making changes to the H-1B program.
As E&M Mayock predicted, this year’s H-1B cap season will be the same as in seasons past. Pre-Registration will not be required. Full petitions must be filed during the first week of April 2019. A lottery will then be held to determine who will receive an H-1B number.
Changes to Lottery Selection:
The Final Rule makes a procedural change in the lottery selection system. In years past, the first selection of 20,000 numbers in the lottery was made from applicants with a U.S. Master’s or higher degree (U.S. Master’s pool). Then the selection of 65,000 numbers was made from all remaining applicants, including the U.S. Master’s pool. This year, the process will be reversed.
Electronic Registration Requirement Revised and Postponed:
DHS wisely chose to follow the advice proposed in many comments to the regulation regarding the electronic registration requirement. DHS has postponed implementation of the electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions in 2019. DHS will be working to complete user testing before rolling out the new system.
What Does This Mean for You?
Once again, full petitions will be required to participate in the 2019 H-1B Lottery. Fortunately, DHS published this Final Rule with plenty of time to prepare robust applications for submission by April 1, 2019.
E&M Mayock predicted that DHS would postpone implementation of the registration component of the proposed rule and is already well into managing the 2019 H-1B Cap Season, as we have in years past. We are proud of our success in obtaining approvals for our H-1B petitions and are braced for the challenges that will undoubtedly arise in the 2019 H-1B Cap Season.
If you have any questions, or are interested in filing a petition in the 2019 H-1B Cap Season, please contact us immediately at 415.765.5111 or H1B@emvisa.com.
Thank you! We look forward to working with you to achieve your visa goals.