H-1B cap electronic pre-registration on Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda Released by the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has released its Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda. One notable agenda item involves the pre-registration of H-1B petitions filed subject to the H-1B cap.  A pre-registration system would require an H-1B Petitioner to register its intent to submit a petition for an individual beneficiary in advance of the April 1 filing window. If selected, the Petitioner would then file the full H-1B petition during the filing window.  A pre-registration system has been discussed by stakeholders and USCIS for many years given the amount of work involved in preparing a complete H-1B petition without any certainty as to whether it would be selected in the H-1B “lottery.” The proposal, which could be published as early as late 2018, could be implemented as soon as April 1, 2019, the beginning of the FY2020 H-1B cap filing season.  However, if the proposal is not implemented in time for the April 2019 cap filing season, as in the past, the full petition will need to be prepared and filed. The question is, if pre-registration is implemented, will it be announced far enough in advance of April 1 to allow employers to plan H-1B cap filings appropriately.


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