USCIS Completes Selection of H-1B Cap Petitions

On May 17, 2019, USCIS announced that it has completed its computer-generated random selection of H-1B cap cases for FY2020.  USCIS has begun issuing receipt notices for all petitions selected in the process, and will begin returning petitions and filing fee checks for all petitions not selected. 

USCIS also announced that it will transfer some of the H-1B cap subject petitions between the Vermont Service Center and the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cases and workload at each service center.  If a petition is transferred, the employer should receive notification in the mail from USCIS and will then be expected to direct all future correspondence to the service center where the petition was transferred.

USCIS began adjudication of H-1B cap subject petitions requesting premium processing on May 20, 2019, and will begin issuing decisions or requests for evidence on these petitions within 15 days of this date (or any date an upgrade to premium processing request is received by the Service after May 20, 2019.) It is expected that this will minimize processing delays,  which caused concern and harm to employers across the United States last year.

If you or your employer was unable to file an H-1B petition this fiscal year, or if your petition is not selected for processing, please keep in mind that there are alternative visa options to explore, including cap exempt H-1B, O-1 and P-1 extraordinary ability, L-1 intracompany transferee, and E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor visas.  Nationals of Canada and Mexico may also be eligible for TN status in the United States.

DHS Posts Final Rule for H-1B Preregistration Process- Not applicable FY 2020

The US Department of Homeland Security published a final rule that makes sweeping changes to the H-1B lottery process by requiring employers who file H-1B cap subject petitions to preregister. The new rule also prioritizes petitions for beneficiaries who have a Master’s degree or higher. The rule will go into effect April 1st, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season.

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for fiscal year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of Monday, January 28, 2019, its premium processing services will resume for all cap subject cases filed for fiscal year 2019. The premium processing option requires an additional fee and ensures that the government will take action on the petition within 15 business days. Premium processing for H-1B cap petitions was suspended on April 2, 2018, the first day of filing season for the current fiscal year and has remained unavailable since this date. Please note: the resumption only applies to cap subject cases and premium processing remains suspended for all other H-1B petitions subject to the suspension. H-1B extensions filed by an employer requesting a “continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” were never subject to the suspension and remain eligible for premium processing.