DHS has announced its final rule regarding proposed amendment to the H-1B visa to include an electronic registration process and to reverse the order by which U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption. The proposed amendments was first announced on November 18, 2018.

According to the final rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2019, DHS will proceed to reverse the order by which it selects petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption. It will, however, not implement its proposed electronic registration requirement for the fiscal year 2020 cap season.

Therefore, beginning April 1, 2019, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. (see my previous post; also see USCIS website). According to DHS, this reversal ‘is merit-based in that it will likely increase the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from U.S institution of higher education to be selected for further processing under the H-1B allocations.”

See Published Final Rule.

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