On December 3rd, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a new rule which will require H-1B petitioners to submit an online registration with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to submitting the H-1B petition. This will eliminate the current requirement that employers file complete H-1B petitions during the first week of April before the selection process has begun.
Based on the new rule, USCIS will also reverse the order in which it selects H-1B petitions, counting all applications towards reaching the H-1B cap of 65,000 first before selecting petitions toward the advanced degree cap (20,000). USCIS predicts this would likely increase the number of beneficiaries selected with advanced degrees.
What This Means
This new electronic system will reduce the burden for petitioners as they will only need to complete a full H-1B application for applicants chosen in the H-1B lottery. It will hopefully also increase efficiency by reducing wait times for cap selections notifications.
The new online system is expected to be implemented in 2019.
For more information, refer to the latest USCIS statement.