DHS Announces New Final Rule for H-1B Visa Program

30 January 2019

Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new final rule regarding the adjudication of H-1B, non-immigrant worker visas. There are two specific areas of the rules that are impacted.

First, the new rule will change the way H-1B processing is done through the lottery when there are too many petitions in a given fiscal year. There will remain a lottery system, but now employers will be required to register during a predetermined period in order to participate in that lottery.

This part of the regulation will not be implemented for this years lottery but will be a requirement during the 2021 fiscal year filing.

Second, the rule change impacts who is selected in the lottery. The regulations allocate a certain amount of H-1B’s to foreign workers that have received a master’s degree from a U.S. institution. Previous lottery selections started with selecting a number of U.S. master’s degree holders and then selecting in the larger pool.

The new rule will reverse the order of selection and give U.S. master’s degree holders a better chance of selection. They will first select from the general pool of H-1B petitions, and then select from the H-1B beneficiaries that hold a master’s degree.

H-1B cap season is quickly approaching so be prepared. Learn about alternative visas here.

Contact an immigration lawyer today for answers to all your questions.


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