President Trump signed an executive order into effect in April of 2017 called the Buy American and Hire American order. This called for the USCIS and the Department of
Homeland Security to take measures to refine the H-1B process so that it aligns more with the administration’s goals of ensuring that more highly-skilled and highly-paid immigrants are able to obtain the visa. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators
One such change involves the annual lottery and will likely go into effect next year. As of now, the USCIS is in the process of testing an online registration system that will effectively replace the petitions in the lottery.
Rather than handle petitions for the lottery, employers will register their alien beneficiaries with the USCIS a few weeks before April 1st, the start of the lottery window.
The lottery will be conducted with these registrations rather than petitions, so employers will not need to file the I-29 packet unless their beneficiary’s registration is selected. If that happens, then employers need to file their petitions within the filing window starting on April 1st.
According to the USCIS this will serve to avoid them having to sift through tens or even hundreds of thousands of petitions. It also will serve to avoid having employers file fees and having to subsequently return the fees of those that were not selected.
This does not technically save the employer any money (since the entire fee would be returned to them), but it is worth noting that employers and beneficiaries are not responsible for H-1B filing fees unless their registration is selected in the lottery.
The USCIS has announced that it is still in the testing phase of this pre-registration system and therefore it will be suspended for the 2020 H-1B season. However, we can expect it to be implemented next year.
Another big change is that the master’s cap will now be conducted after the regular cap. Therefore, all of the cap-subject petitions will be entered into the regular cap of 65,000 first. For more information on H1B Visa check Kotra
After that, all unselected petitions with advanced degree designations will be entered into the master’s cap. This is expected to increase the chances of getting selected in the master’s cap significantly.
The master’s cap order reversal will go into effect this H-1B 2020 filing season.
Lastly, the president has also released a statement indicating that he plans to create a potential pathway for H-1B holders to obtain citizenship. While there is currently no direct path to citizenship from any nonimmigrant visa, this change, if implemented, would make the H-1B much more appealing to those looking to become U.S. citizens.