For businesses seeking to hire noncitizen professionals with specialized knowledge for positions starting on or after October 1, 2019, the opening day for filing their applications for H-1B temporary work visas begins, as usual, on April 1, 2019.
If past years are any guide, within a few days, the 65,000 cap for individuals with bachelors degrees, and the 20,000 cap for masters degree holders will be exceeded, and petitions that will advance will be selected by lottery. While USCIS has designed a new process intended to remove the uncertainty that the lottery process causes employers and potential H-1B employees alike, it will not be applied until FY 2021. However, other changes will take effect for FY 2020 that are likely to result in fewer H-1B petitions being approved for positions that don’t require a masters degree.
USCIS provides information about which positions are subject to or exempt from the cap, updated filing addresses, and updates on the H-1B cap count for FY 2020 here.
The H-1B cap and process are archaic and fail to meet the U.S.’s, and employers’ needs for talent in order to remain globally competitive. Congress should make modernizing the laws a priority this legislative session.