By: Chris Musillo

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. 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.
  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.
USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions on April 1, 2019