U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced partial implementation to new rules regarding cap subject H1Bs. The new rules will have minimal effects regarding the application process for fiscal year 2020, but partial implementation of the new rules will favor H1B applicants with U.S. Master’s degrees this year. Full implementation of the new rules is anticipated for the next fiscal year, which will include a registration process for employers and beneficiaries.
As H1B season is rapidly approaching, it is critical that employers and applicants begin preparation of H1B petitions in advance of the filing receipt deadline for the first week of April. Employers who have employees in F-1 student status (OPT), TN status, and L-1B professionals are good candidates for consideration of a cap subject H1B petition. In addition, employees who are work authorized based on an H-4, L-2 or E spouse are also good candidates for cap subject H1B petitions. An H1B petition for any H4 visa holder is especially critical as federal courts are considering whether or not H-4 visas holders will remain entitled to apply for work authorization.
We anticipate a high demand for H1B visas this year with the annual quota likely to be reached within the first week that the new petitions are accepted. As a result of this demand, we also anticipate that a lottery will be held for a random selection of timely filed petitions. One portion of the rule that will be implemented this year will be the manner in which the lottery will be conducted. The new regulation will invert the order in which the “Regular Cap” and the “Master’s Cap” are conducted. U.S. Master’s cap applicants will be accepted under the “Regular Cap” lottery first, leaving any remaining applicants with advanced degrees to apply for the “Master’s Cap” lottery. This change will give advanced U.S. degree holders a preference over those with only a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The start date for an approved cap subject H1B petition is October 1, 2019.
If you have questions or would like to set up a consultation regarding the H1B process, please schedule an appointment on-line: https://www.dmcausa.com/contact/ or call us toll free at 1-866-690-1844.