On December 3, 2018, USCIS proposed a number of regulatory changes  to the H-1B Visa, a temporary visa category that allows U.S. employers to petition a foreign professional worker for employment in a “specialty occupation,” or an occupation that typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent.
Under the proposed regulations, employers seeking to file cap-subject H-1B Petitions will be required to register online during a 14-day registration period sometime prior to April 1st. At the time of mandatory registration, employers would not be required to pay a filing fee, submit a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), or file a complete H-1B Petition. Rather, the employer would be asked to provide only basic information regarding the employer and the beneficiary, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The employer’s name, employer identification number (EIN), and employer’s mailing address;
- The employer’s authorized representative’s name, job title, and contact information (telephone number and email address);
- The beneficiary’s full name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, gender, and passport number;
- Whether the beneficiary has obtained a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education;
- The employer’s attorney or accredited representative, if applicable (a Form G-28 should be also submitted electronically, if applicable); and
- Any additional basic information requested by the registration system or USCIS.
Following the proposed mandatory online registration period, USCIS will utilize a computer-generated lottery system to determine which H-1B registrants have been selected for further processing. The selected H-1B registrants would be given at least 60 days to submit a certified LCA, complete the H-1B Petition and supporting documents, and the requisite fees.
Additionally, USCIS intends to prioritize petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who have attained a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education by conducting the lottery for the 65,000 H-1B visas prior to the lottery for 20,000 additional H-1B visas reserved for U.S. Masters or Ph.D. degree holders.
Though it is unclear whether these proposed changes to the H-1B visa program will be implemented as written, the 30-day public comment period closes on January 2, 2019, indicating that USCIS may intend to implement these changes as soon as next year.
Additionally, in a proposed regulation, the USCIS is proposing the rescission of employment authorization for spouses of H-1B visa holders. This proposed regulation is expected to be published for public review and comment before the end of 2018. 
U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP will continue to monitor any proposed changes to the H-1B visa program. Should you have any questions and would like to schedule a consultation with our firm regarding the H-1B process, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (714) 786-1166