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H-1B Regulatory Changes Scheduled to be Effective April 1, 2019/ Confirmed Delay in Changes to H-1B Cap Pre-Registration Process

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the proposed regulations making fundamental changes to the H-1B cap-selection process have been finalized and will be published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2019. Effective April 1, 2019, USCIS will implement changes to the order of cap selection. Specifically, USCIS will select 65,000 H-1B petitions from all cases received, inclusive of regular cap cases and advanced degree exception cases. USCIS will then select from the remaining advanced degree exception cases to fill the remaining 20,000 available H-1B slots. USCIS anticipates that the change in selection process will result in a 16% increase in the number of selected petitions for those with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.

The final rule also confirms that the implementation of the proposed electronic pre-registration process will be delayed pending further functionality testing and that companies should continue to prepare for the upcoming H-1B filing deadline as they as they have in the past. USCIS has confirmed it will publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation of the H-1B process registration process prior to the cap season in which it will implement the requirement.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California


About this Author

Sarah Hawk, Polsinelli Law Firm, Atlanta, Immigration Law Attorney

Sarah Hawk provides immigration counsel to numerous corporate clients and is a frequent speaker nationally and regionally on business immigration issues. She advises clients on current immigration legislation, and has comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience in a broad range of immigration petitions, nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications, consular processing, waiver cases and outbound placement. She conducts I-9 compliance training, performs I-9 audits and advises on immigration policy for companies.

Ms. Hawk provides immigration counsel and...

Terra Martin, Polsinelli Law Firm, Atlanta, Immigration Law Attorney

Terra R. Martin is an associate in the Immigration & Workforce Mobility practice group in Polsinelli’s Atlanta office. Terra leverages her experience in immigration law spanning over seven years, to best serve her clients. Prior to joining Polsinelli, Terra worked as a senior associate and in-house counsel.

Terra focuses her practice on preparing and filing visas, including: H-1B, L-1A/B, 0-1, E-2, E-3, J-1, EB1 and EB2/3 filings and conducting I-9 and E-Verify self-audits. She regularly counsels clients on employment based visa processes, maintenance of status, employer compliance obligations and compliant PERM recruitment procedures.