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H1B Visa Pre-Registration Rule Implemented Effective April 1, 2019

new h1b visa proposed registration lottery rule proposed

The new H1B Visa Lottery Rule titled – Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens was fast-tracked and published as a final rule in Jan 2019.

Fast-Tracked for Implementation:

  • Rule Proposed – Dec 3, 2018
  • Final Rule Published – Jan 31, 2019
  • Rule Effective Date – April 1, 2018

In comparison, H4 EAD Rule took over 2 years!

So, what’s in the H1B Visa Pre-Registration Rule?

All the changes can be summarized under two broad category:

  1. Reversal of H1B Visa Lottery Order
  2. Requires Pre-Registration of Visa Applicants

The Questions:

  • Who does this Pre-Registration for H1B Visa help?
  • How does this benefit the Employer?
  • How does this Rule impact the H1B Visa applicant?
  • What about Immigration Attorneys?
  • Do Advanced Degree holders get additional H1B quota?

Important Dates

Final Rule was published on Jan 31, 2019 with Effective Date of April 1, 2019.

But, for H1B Visa 2020, only the Lottery Order Reversal will be effective.

DHS would implement the Pre-Registration system and the process for the Next Fiscal Year (April 1, 2020).

Expectations From This H1B Visa Pre-Registration Rule

There was some negative news about the Proposed rule before the draft copy was made available. Here is the list of expected changes to be part of the proposed H1B Visa rule.

  1. Merit-Based criteria for awarding H1B Visas instead of lottery selection
  2. Changes to the Minimum Salary H1B Visa
  3. Priority Date for H1B Visa Petitions not selected in the lottery (like Green Card)

After reading the proposed H1B Visa PreRegistration Rule, I couldn’t find any changes related to the lottery selection criteria, minimum salary or establishing a new priority date for unselected H1B Visa petitions.

Summary of the H1B Visa Registration Rule

Here is the quick birds-level view of the new Proposed Rule.

current vs proposed h1b visa lottery selection process

  • The employer seeking H1B Visa for employees would have to Register online first.
  • Regular Cap random selection is completed first
  • Advanced Cap random selection is completed next
  • Selected petitions above random selection process are noticed
  • Only those are required to submit the actual H1B Visa Petition.
  • This process would save millions of dollars for both the Employer, Employee, and USCIS

Change in H1B Visa Random Selection Order

Here is the current H1B Visa Random selection process order for Advanced and Regular H1B Visa Cap.

current h1b visa lottery selection order

So, what’s new with the Proposed H1B Visa Random selection order?

Pay close attention to the Order of the Random Lottery Order.

First, Regular Cap registered H1B Visa entries are selected.

Then, Advanced Degree Cap Registered entries are selected.

proposed h1b visa lottery selection process

This new order of H1B Via petition selection is supposed to increase the number of H-1B Visa selected for applicants with Advanced Degree from the USA colleges and Universities.

But, how much?

Expected to be Around 16%.

That’s about 5340 more visas for Masters Cap (aka Advanced Degree) cap holders. Where’s the real math? According to Professor Ron Hira of Howard University:

[There] are 190,098 total applicants, 95,885 of which are master’s +. The current USCIS lottery sequence first gives 20K to master’s applicants from the master’s cap. So the remaining pool would be 170k, with 76k being master’s+. That means that the remaining master’s+ would have a 45 percent chance of winning the 65k cap; 28,998 master’s+ would win the 65k lottery. The net result of the current system is that 48,998 master’s+ are selected.

In the system I’m proposing, the random lottery would be re-sequenced. Run the lottery on the 65k base first. In this scenario, master’s+ would have a 50.4 percent chance of winning the base cap lottery. That would translate into 32,786 master’s+ winning. Then allocate the remaining 20k to the master’s cap. The net result of my proposed system is that 52,786 master’s+ are selected. This is a modest but material difference favoring U.S.-earned master’s + applicants.

Great News for some, while others would be upset with this proposed rule!

Did you know, there was a similar rule that was proposed in 2011?

And USCIS received 60 comments for the Proposed rule back then. But, it was not implemented.

This new proposed H1B Visa Registration Rule is improved and replaces the previously proposed rule.

About the Proposed Rule: 

  • This is the Proposed Rule.
  • Public Commenting will be open for 30 days from Dec 3, 2017 to Jan 2, 2018.
  • USCIS intends to implement this process for the upcoming H1B Visa 2020 season.
  • USCIS is requesting public comments in a number of areas to improve this Proposed Rule better.

Additional Details From the New H1B Visa Lottery Selection Process

  • H1B  Visa Registration Period will begin 14 days before the H1B Cap season opens
  • USCIS will give 30 days advance notice when the Registration Period Opens
  • If more than 65,000 for Regular Cap and 20,000 for Advanced Degree Cap registrations are received, Registration period would close.
  • A unique number will be assigned to each H1B Visa petition registration.
  • First Regular Cap Draw will be conducted
  • Second Advanced Degree H1B Cap draw will be conducted
  • This new order is expected to increase the number of Advanced Degree Cap Selections
  • After Randon Draw, selected registration will be notified
  • One employer can submit only one registration per applicant (even for a different job)
  • If the employer submits multiple registrations for the same Employee, they may be disqualified from receiving H1B for that fiscal year
  • After receiving notification, the Employer can then submit the H1B Visa Petition with supporting documents
  • Receipt Number will be issued after the above package is reeved by the USCIS
  1. H1B Visa 2020 Lottery Probability and Approval Chances
  2. H1B Visa 2020 Cap Count for Regular & Advanced Degree Applications
  3. H1b Visa 2020 Premium Processing Available in Two Phases
  4. Top 10 Reasons for H1B Visa RFE’s from USCIS

 

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