FINAL NEW RULE FOR QUOTA H-1Bs

On January 31, 2019, a final rule amending the regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions was posted in the Federal Regulations.  The final rule reverses the order by which the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and advance degree exemption.  The rule also introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.  The rule goes into effect on April 1, 2019, however, the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the Fiscal Year 2020 (“FY 2020”) cap season.

USCIS has stated that changing the order in which it selects the H-1B petitions will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education by up to 16% (or 5,340 workers).

USCIS is suspending the electronic registration system for the FY 2020 H-1B quota season because it needs to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional.  USCIS does not anticipate that this can be completed before the April deadline for FY 2020 quota petitions.