So on January 30th the USCIS announced that the proposed H-1B rule will become effective on April 1st, 2019. I discussed the proposed rule previously. Over the period that the USCIS announced the rule, there were questions regarding how quickly the rule was being implemented. The proposed rule had two major components.
The Proposed H1-B Changes
The USCIS will require a free electronic registration and then if selected in the lottery, will submit full H-1B petitions. The electronic registration process has been delayed until 2020. The USCIS had added that they will delay the registration further if needed. This room for delay has allayed some fears about the rushed implementation of the electronic registration.However, there is also actual implementation of the other part of the change.
The immigration service will also reverse the order by which H-1B petitions under the cap are selected. Advanced degree holders will be placed in the 65,000 visa cap along with all other candidates. Then only applicants with U.S. mater’s degree and higher will be placed into the separate lottery for the 20,000 visas. The goal is to increase the number of H-1B visas that go to advanced-degree holders from U.S. schools. Previously, the government ran a lottery for advanced-degree holders who qualified under the 20,000-visa cap first. Those who weren’t chosen then got a second chance with the other H-1B petitions under the larger 65,000-visa cap.
The rules changes will streamline the process, reduce the expense to the government and the employers, as well as increase the number of individuals with advanced degrees. Of course, this all sounds good in theory. In practice, it may be a different experience. The rule will be implemented on April 1st. I’ll keep you posted.
NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.