USCIS Proposes Pre-Registration Requirement to H-1B Visa Lottery Process

On December 3, 2018, the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed to amend its regulations for applying for H-1B visas for temporary foreign workers in specialty occupations. There is currently a lottery for H-1B visas for 65,000 visa positions and a 20,000 limit for those eligible for an advanced degree exemption. The rule would create a mandatory online preregistration system, where employers file online registrations for intended workers during a two-week period before April 1. USCIS would conduct a lottery and select enough registrations to meet the H-1B cap numbers. Those chosen under this lottery would then file a full H-1B petition. USCIS tried to create a similar preregistration system in 2011, but that proposed rule was never finalized. The rule would also change the order in which petitions are selected for the H-1B visa lottery to increase the number of beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher (from a U.S. institution) to be selected.

Comments on this Proposed Rule are due on January 2, 2019.

  • Submit your comment here.
  • Advocacy’s comments on the 2011 proposed rule can be found here.
  • Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes or 202-619-0312.

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