SHRM Submits Comments on H-1B Registration Proposal

 

Justin Storch By Justin Storch January 7, 2019
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​SHRM has submitted public comments on a proposed rule from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) titled "Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens." The proposed rule would create a mandatory registration portal for all H-1Bs filed under the H-1B cap, for the purpose of running the lottery prior to the filing of paper petitions for selected cases. The proposed rule would also reverse the order of the H-1B lottery to allocate more H-1Bs to individuals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

SHRM's broad recommendations to USCIS are as follows:

  1. After fiscal year (FY) 2020 and full testing and vetting, provide reasonable notice of changes and incorporate stakeholder input in the final registration system.
  2. Improve the registration and filing process to allow for greater efficiency gains.
  3. Ensure reasonable timing of adjudications and fairness by expanding cap-gap relief and refraining from premium processing suspensions.
  4. Collect the I-129 form fee through the system as a disincentive for speculative or prospective registrations.
  5. Include provisions to ensure all 85,000 H-1Bs are used in any fiscal year with sufficient demand.

USCIS has previously indicated it intends to finalize this rule prior to the April 2019 lottery for FY 2020, but it has subsequently acknowledged that it may be unable to do so. Employers should continue to prepare for FY 2020 as if H-1B filing under the H-1B cap will be conducted as it was in prior years, but they should also be prepared for the possibility of a registration process.


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