Back in December, USCIS announced its intention to add a pre-registration process requirement to its annual H-1B cap filing process. As of last week, USCIS confirmed that the tool supporting this requirement could not be implemented in time for the FY2020 cap filing. USCIS still intends to roll out the process next year, but for this year, USCIS will be proceeding with the same H-1B cap filing requirements as last year.
As of this date, there are less than two months to complete the preparation required for any H-1B cap filings for this year and it is imperative that applicants contact their attorneys as soon as possible to confirm any petitions intended to be filed this year.
However, USCIS has announced one change to the lottery. USCIS allocates a certain number of H-1Bs for Master’s Cap cases (i.e. cases where the beneficiary possesses a master’s degree or higher) and a certain number of H-1Bs for Regular Cap cases (i.e. cases where the beneficiary possesses a Bachelor’s degree or higher). In previous years, USCIS completed the random selection for Master’s Cap cases first and then completed the random selection for Regular Cap cases. This year, USCIS will be reversing that process and conducting the Regular Cap selection first. Their intention in doing so was explained as follows: “Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations.”