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The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed changes to the H-1B Cap system that would significantly impact the existing process. The proposed rule, entitled “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions” and revealed on November 2, aims to replace the current random selection process with a new salary-based ranking system that prioritizes selections to applicants that have received offers corresponding to the highest wage levels. This would be a dramatic change to the existing system, which has always been based on a random lottery process. If the rule goes through, it will be implemented in next year’s H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2022.

A federal judge recently struck down the Trump administration’s recent efforts to significantly restrict the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides protection from deportation for approximately 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and no longer have lawful immigration status. However, federal immigration officials have not yet begun complying with the decision, leaving the country in a state of temporary limbo. What do employers need to know about this development?

With students across the country returning to remote or socially distanced schooling, many things are looking very different in 2020 – and immigration is no exception. Earlier this year, employers and visa-dependent employees eagerly awaited the first iteration of a pre-filing H-1B cap registration process. Rather than the usual process of submitting a full H-1B petition during the first week of April, the new registration process allowed employers to register their H-1B cap beneficiaries online with a $10 registration fee per employee. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a random lottery in late March and notified the lucky employers of their registration selections. These employers could then file H-1B cap petitions with USCIS between April and June.

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