The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new registration system to the H-1B cap-subject visa program.[1] This final rule, which goes into effect beginning April 1, 2019, [2] reverses the order on how the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the regular cap and advanced degree exemption. There will now be a greater chance for foreign workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher to be selected in the H-1B lottery. It is to be an estimated increase of 16% (5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions that have a master’s degree or higher.

The USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna states, “We are furthering President Trump’s goal of improving our immigration system by making a simple adjustment to the H-1B cap selection process.” With the April 2018 Buy American and Hire American Executive Order,[3] DHS has been instructed to propose new rules and regulations to “protect the interests of U.S. workers,” including reforms to the H-1B visa process to prioritize only the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.

All H-1B cap petitions for Fiscal Year 2020 will apply the reverse selection order and will be accepted by USCIS beginning April 1, 2019. The electronic registration requirement has been suspended for FY 2020 cap season. Once implemented, it is expected to be a cost-effective approach to the H-1B cap petition process for both USCIS adjudications and for petitioners. Prior to being implemented, the USCIS will do outreach and publish a notice in the Federal Register to guide petitioners on how to access and use the system.

We have extensive experience in getting H-1B visas approved for employers.  Mr. Syed himself worked on an H-1B visa for several years before getting his permanent residence through an employer sponsored petition.