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DHS announces Final Rule effective April 1, 2019.

Updated: Jan 31, 2019


Today, USCIS announced that the Department of Homeland Security has posted for public inspection a final rule which amends the regulations governing H-1B cap petitions. This final rule will be published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2019 and will be effective as of April 1, 2019.


As discussed in my previous article of January 23, 2019 (https://www.immigrationnews.online/home/proposed-changes-to-h-1b-lottery-for-fy-2020), the final rule will reverse the selection order in which USCIS select cap-subject petitions.

In previous years the Master’s cap was run first, followed by the regular cap. However, effective April 1, 2019, H-1B petitions will first be selected under the regular cap and then USCIS will select from the remaining petitions for the Master’s cap. By changing the order of the selection process there is expected to be a higher number of beneficiary’s selected with a Master’s degree or higher overall. This change will not have any effect on how we prepare petitions.


Although the final rule includes a provision for electronic registration, USCIS has confirmed that this will be suspended for the upcoming cap season to enable them to complete user testing and ensure that the system is fully functional. This is great news as it means that for the forthcoming cap filings, we will continue to file petitions in the exact same way as we have done in previous years.


For anyone who is interested in reading the final rule please follow the link below:


https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/31/2019-00302/registration-requirement-for-petitioners-seeking-to-file-h-1b-petitions-on-behalf-of-cap-subject


USCIS will begin accepting petitions on April 1, 2019 and the reverse selection order discussed above will apply to all cap-subject petitions filed.


Once USCIS formally announce the implementation of the H-1B registration process I will provide a further update. For now, let’s focus on the upcoming cap season!


January 30, 2019.

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