Financial District, New York
28 Liberty Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 461-7152

Proposed Rule Changes That May Impact Your H-1B Application February 7, 2019

Financial District, Manhattan
Proposed Rule Changes That May Impact Your H-1B Application, Manhattan, New York

In an effort to decrease the backlog of H-1B visa applications and the workload on USCIS personnel, the Department of Homeland Security is considering a rule change that would essentially create an extra step in the process. Other proposed changes to current immigration laws could change the order in which applications are selected in the lottery, which may have a detrimental impact on H-1B beneficiaries without advanced degrees. Below is a brief explanation of these proposed changes, some of which may go into effect before the 2019 filing window.

Proposed Changes to the H-1B Visa Application Process

Online Registration Requirement

immigration lawUnder current immigration law, petitioners and beneficiaries only discover whether their applications have been selected after filing a completed petition. To reduce the influx of applications, DHS is planning to institute an online registration system, which would require petitioners to submit their information, as well as the names and preliminary details about the beneficiaries. When a sufficient number of registrations to meet the annual cap have been received, USCIS plans to randomly select pre-registered petitioners, who will then be able to submit their applications.

Inverting the Selection Order

US immigration law divides H-1B applications into two separate categories, each with their own caps. Traditionally, USCIS selected petitions from the pool of highly educated beneficiaries before choosing applicants from the general pool, giving workers with advanced degrees two chances for nomination. The proposed rule changes would revert this order, increasing the number of highly qualified applicants in the general pool. This change is intended to increase the proportion of H-1B workers with master’s degrees or higher.


Immigration laws are constantly changing, which is why H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries alike rely on the expertise of Berd & Klauss, PLLC. As one of NYC’s most respected immigration law firms, they provide clients from around the world with effective legal advice in a wide range of situations. Visit their website for more on how they can help with your H-1B petition, or call (212) 461-7152 to speak to an attorney and arrange a consultation.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Berd & Klauss, PLLC
Data Entry Complete for FY2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions, Manhattan, New York
On May 17, USCIS announced that it completed a crucial step toward processing cap-subject H-1B petitions for the 2020 fiscal year. In the coming weeks, immigration law officials will...read more
Re-Registration Now Open for South Sudanese Nationals With Temporary Protected Status, Manhattan, New York
In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to refugees from South Sudan, due to the armed conflict and other extraordinary conditions ravag...read more
Immigration Consultants Arrested for Fraud in Texas & California, Manhattan, New York
On April 1, authorities arrested immigration consultants in California and Texas on charges of conspiracy and visa fraud. According to the indictment, the defendants are accused of o...read more
An Approximate Timeline for the FY2020 H-1B Visa Process, Manhattan, New York
The lottery for cap-subject H-1B visas occurred in the first week of April. Now that the petitions are in, immigration law officials will select future visa holders in a process that...read more
USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service for H-1B Visa Petitions, Manhattan, New York
To catch up on a backlog of pending petitions, immigration law authorities suspended premium processing for most H-1B visa applications. As of March 12, USCIS has resumed this critic...read more