DHS has proposed substantial changes to the H1B process. We anticipate these changes will be effective for April 1, 2019 H1B filings that are subject to the annual cap. The main change to the process will be the establishment of a mandatory internet-based registration process for petitioners seeking to file H1B petitions for beneficiaries who will be counted against the H1B cap. The proposed regulations flip the lottery process to the front end of the application process. Registrants who are selected will be able to apply for an H1B visa. Here are the basics that you need to know:
–The registration period would begin at least fourteen calendar days before April 1, 2019, which conceivably means that the first day to register may be Sunday, March 18, 2019, although final dates have not been set.
–The public will receive at least 30 days advance notice of the opening of initial registration.
–There is no fee for registration.
–The process for selection will occur via a computer-generated selection process meant to select registrations at random.
–Employers should be prepared to provide at a minimum: (a) Employer’s name; (b) FEIN; (c) Employer mailing address; (d) Employer’s authorized representative and contact information; (e) Beneficiary’s name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, gender and passport number; and (f) G-28 Notice of Attorney representation (where applicable)
–There is no substitution of beneficiaries.
–An employer may not submit more than one registration for the same beneficiary during the registration period for the fiscal year.
–USCIS proposes to first meet the regular cap with applicants who have a bachelor’s degree and those who qualify for the advance degree exemption. When the regular cap is met, USCIS will then fill 20,000 the advance degree set aside H1B visas. USCIS’ intended goal is to increase the total number of petitions under the regular cap for beneficiaries who possess a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
–Employers must attest that the contents of the registration are true and accurate and that the petitioner intends to employ the beneficiary, consistent with the registration.
–If a registration is selected, then an employer will have at least 60 days to submit an H1B petition in accordance with the designated filing period and location as noted on the notification of selection.
–USCIS will hold in reserve registrations that are not selected in order to ensure that the H1B cap subject numbers are used. USCIS must notify the employer within the fiscal year of selection.
The contours of the regulations may change after public notice which will end on January 2, 2019. We will keep you updated on the final rules and implications of these proposed changes in additional posts. Contact DMCA with any questions or concerns regarding the H1B filing process. We are here to answer your questions. Call us toll free at 1-866-690-1844 or BusinessImmigration@dmcausa.com to set up your consultation.
Faye M. Kolly
Business Immigration Practice Group