DHS Finalizes H-1B Cap Changes


Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule that changes how USCIS will conduct the annual H-1B cap lottery. USCIS is proceeding with its proposal to conduct the regular H-1B cap lottery before it conducts the lottery for beneficiaries with advanced U.S. degree. USCIS projects this process change will increase the likelihood of beneficiaries with a U.S. master's degree or higher being selected in the lottery by up to sixteen percent.

In response to public feedback, USCIS is suspending the proposed online registration system for the Fiscal Year 2020 cap season to give USCIS sufficient time to complete user testing. Once this system is implemented, H-1B cap petitioners will register with USCIS online, and USCIS will notify petitioners which registrations are selected in the lottery. The result is that employers will only have to physically file petitions which USCIS already selected in the lottery. In the final rule USCIS also clarified that it will announce the start of the initial registration period at least thirty calendar days in advance.