About the writer

" Anindita A. Chowdhury, is the Founder and Managing Attorney of USILaw, Inc. As a leading practitioner of Immigration Law, she possesses a track record of success with over twenty years of experience in the field. Anindita specializes in Business Immigration and has in-depth expertise in the full range of Employment and Immigration Visas for the United States as well as for several other countries, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, China and India, among others. "

DHS Proposes New Rules to Require H-1B Cap Pre-Registration

The Department of Homeland Security has released a proposed rule that will potentially impact all future H-1B Cap filings. Under the proposed rules, the USCIS will set up an electronic system through which companies will need to pre-register its proposed H-1B filings. The system will then pick 65,000 cases and enable them to become eligible for an H-1B visa filing. This initial “lottery” will include those who have a U.S. Master’s degree. Once the 65,000 numerical limit is reached, 20,000 additional visas for those who are eligible as a U.S. Master’s degree holder will be selected. The USCIS will also keep other applicants not selected in a pool and if additional numbers become eligible, they will be then randomly selected from this group. There will be no fee associated for the registration. 

There are many concerns about this proposed new system. The USCIS foresees that the system may not be ready in time for the FY2020 Cap and therefore may suspend the new rule for the upcoming cap. Other issues of fairness are also of concern. There is no process, under this proposed rule, by which placeholder petitions are prevented from being filed. Since, minimal effort and resources will be required for the filing, there will be nothing to prevent millions of cases being filed and then having these visas “traded,” thus preventing legitimate aspirants from receiving a fair shot at being selected for a visa.