New H-1B Cap Proposal One Step Closer to Implementation

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

The U.S. Office of Budget and Management recently approved a proposed regulation from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding H-1B cap registration that may have an impact on FY 2020 cap filings.

Under this new proposal, employers would need to register for the H-1B lottery prior to submitting H-1B cap petitions. This pre-registration period would likely transpire before the opening day of the H-1B cap season.

During registration, employers would need to provide information about their company, the job offer and the prospective foreign employee. Employers would need to file a separate registration for each foreign beneficiary, and they would be barred from submitting multiple registrations per foreign national.

Additionally, many immigration experts believe USCIS will also change the order of the cap lotteries. USCIS may run the advanced-degree lottery before the regular cap lottery to boost the number of advanced degree graduates selected in the H-1B cap petition lottery.

Another change revolves around the petition filing period. If finalized, employers would need to submit full H-1B petitions and supporting evidence only for registrations selected in the lottery.

Finally, the proposal may create a waiting list for additional cap petitions in the event the quota of 85,000 is not met due to rejections or withdrawals.

USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna has previously stated his desire to implement the cap registration for FY 2020 cap season, which will begin April 1, 2019. But the rule must first be published in the Federal Register, at which point members of the public will have an opportunity to submit comments.

How Should I Proceed?

Global Immigration Associates and Envoy recommend you maintain the status quo, but keep in mind the process may be updated. At this point in time, no new information has been provided about the potential new process but if and when the proposed rule is finalized, GIA and Envoy will provide further guidance and instruction.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ryan Bay, who is the Director of Legal Operations at Global Immigration Associates, P.C.(, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.