DHS Announces H-1B Lottery Final Rule
On January 30, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted for public inspection the final rule that amends the regulations governing the way H-1B cap-subject petitions will be processed. The final rule will be published on January 31, 2019 and will be effective in 60 days, just in time for the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap season.
DHS confirms that the final rule will reverse the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the “regular cap” and the advanced degree exemption (“masters cap”). This means that the lottery will first be run for all H-1B cap subject petitions filed, including those eligible for the “masters cap”. USCIS will then run the lottery for the “masters cap” by selecting a sufficient number of remaining eligible H-1B petitions needed to reach the “masters cap”. This portion of the rule is set to be implemented for the upcoming cap season.
DHS has also confirmed that while there will be an electronic registration requirement for employers seeking H-1B cap subject petitions, that portion of the rule will be suspended for the upcoming FY 2020 H-1B cap season. This portion of the rule will be suspended in order for USCIS to complete user testing to ensure that the system is fully functional.