By Chris Musillo

The USCIS has published two proposed rules that will change H-1B cap processes. While the USCIS hopes that these two rules are finalized in time for the April 2019 H-1B cap, the USCIS has not yet committed to a timeline. The public may comment on the two proposed rules until January 2, 2019.

The two rules are:

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 reengineer the way that it conducts the H-1B lottery. The result of the reengineering 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.