Changes To The H1-B Lottery System Coming Soon

Yr.2020 H1-B season is not around the corner yet. It is still a few months away. However, many procedural changes for H1-B announced lately, either in its proposed or finalization stages are indicative of things to come when the season does roll in next year. One of the critical changes revolve around the crucial H1-B lottery that allows foreign workers from abroad who are qualified in a specialty occupation to work in the US on a temporary basis.

Currently, employers petition for their employees and submit their petitions into a lottery system by April first week. According to a new rule proposed by the Office of information and regulatory affairs, H1-B petitioners will now be required to pre-register before qualifying for the H1-B cap-subject lottery system. This additional step is made with an intention to streamline the process and provide for better resource management given that the extremely high number of submissions each year for the 65,000 cap.

What to Expect with the New H1-B Pre-Registration Rule?

  • Going forward there will be an electronic registration program for nonimmigrant H1-B petitions.
  • Petitions will then be selected hierarchically, with the most highly skilled individuals, having the most advanced degrees and highest salaries at the top of the list.
  • Only once selected for adjudication from the pre-registered category, the employer needs to file a full petition for the actual lottery.
  • This final lottery will determine who gets the H1-B work visa for the US. Know what to do once you do get the H1-B visa in hand.
  • This layer of filtration will help USCIS manage the excessive number of H1-B submissions made each year.
  • Another advantage is for the employers in that they’d reduce the time spent along with additional costs since they have to file only for the chosen ones.
  • This also makes the whole process much more predictable since the number of applicants in the final round are fewer thus streamlining the planning process for employers in the US.
  • The possible disadvantage is that USCIS could limit the number of applications from each organization.
  • Similarly, outsourcing and staffing companies may not get too much leverage with this pre-registration process either.

Get ready and do your prep-work now so you are geared for any and all changes coming your way with the new policies that may apply to your situation. If you are a potential H1-B candidate, follow this step-by-step guide to the H1-B visa application process.