As previously discussed in our post on December 4, 2018, DHS has indicated that it intended to amend its rules pertaining to the H-1B lottery system. For a detailed discussion of those plans, please refer back to the earlier post.
On January 31, 2019, DHS did as promised, publishing a final rule in the Federal Register that will amend the regulations pertaining to the H-1B lottery. Although the rule is effective April 1, 2019, the employer registration requirement has been suspended for this year’s H-1B cap. As a result, employers wishing to apply for a cap-subject H-1B this year must use the same method utilized in prior years. The order in which petitions are selected has been reversed immediately, though, with the lottery being held for the regular cap first, and then the master’s cap. This method should result in the selection of a larger number of H-1B applications with advanced degrees.
Going forward, employers will be given a period of at least 14 days to register for an H-1B for specific beneficiaries. The registrations are then selected by lottery, with those selected then being given a window of at least 90 days in which to file the full H-1B petition.