Changes Coming to the H-1B Lottery

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 1, 2019 – For many years there have been talk about changes coming to the H-1B lottery. Finally, something did happen on December 3, 2018.

On December 3 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a notice and a comment period for a proposed rule to change the H-1B lottery. The lottery would now be merit based with a new electronic registration process.

Petitioners would be required to first register with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once an employee is chosen, in the lottery, USCIS would then ask for the whole petition. While it may speed up the system to a point, there is a concern that employers would use it to file for multiple employees, even some that do not qualify for a position, and thereby messing up the lottery.

“Making these changes does make it easier for U.S. Master’s Degree holders to score a lottery number,” said well-known Houston immigration attorney, Annie Banerjee. “Also, with the new procedure, the rates for entering the lottery are expected to be significantly lower.”

This new rule is not likely to go into effect until March 2019, as CIS is mandated to propose a rule, provide a 30-day public notice period for comments and then make the rule. The comment period for this particular proposed change in rules ended January 2, 2019 and it is likely CIS would require 90 to 180 days to take action on drafting and finalizing the rule. “In the alternative, it is also entirely possible this rule will not be implemented until 2020 given the short turn around time involved,” added Banerjee.

For those interested in finding out how the CIS changes may affect them, that information may be found here.

Given the uncertainty in the immigration system today, it is best to consult with an experienced business immigration attorney to find out what is needed to get on the right side of the law to hire workers.

Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139

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