News & Articles

USCIS Announces Partial Implementation of New H-1B Process

Published on January 31, 2019

On January 30, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule that amends the regulations governing petitions filed under the H-1B visa lottery.  The final rule makes two major changes: it adds an electronic registration requirement for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, and it reverses the order by which USCIS will select petitions filed under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption.  Under the final rule, USCIS will count all applicants toward the regular cap first, and then select applicants toward the advanced degree exemption second.   The final rule will go into effect on April 1, although DHS will suspend the electronic registration requirement for this year’s H-1B cap.  This means that H-1B cap-subject petitions filed under the FY-2020 H-1B cap will need to be filed using the same process as in prior years, with employers submitting a complete H-1B petition to USCIS, together with filing fees, by April 1, 2019, in order to be eligible for selection in the H-1B lottery for FY-2020.

The immigration group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland will continue to monitor changes to the rules and regulations governing H-1B petitions and the H-1B lottery process and provide updates.

There is still time to initiate an H-1B cap petition for filing in this year’s lottery. Please contact an immigration attorney at Ryan Swanson if you would like to sponsor an employee for H-1B status under this year’s cap.


Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected].
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
Joel Paget can be reached at [email protected].
Janet Cheetham can be reached at [email protected].

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

Have Questions?

Get in touch today.