Leading business and immigration organizations have called on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to implement proposed changes to the H-1B lottery ahead of the upcoming H-1B cap season.

In October, USCIS published a wide-ranging proposed regulation that would have broad consequences for the H-1B program, including shifting to a beneficiary-based H-1B lottery.

In a Dec. 5 comment, Compete America — a coalition of businesses, trade organizations and higher-education associations — said they have “serious concerns” about the “vulnerabilities” in the current H-1B registration process.

“The gaming of the registration system that occurred this year drove selection rates down for legitimate users of the H-1B program and caused uncertainty for U.S. employers and their employees,” the coalition said. “The H-1B program is critical to a wide range of industries in the United States, and allowing this gaming to continue for even one more year would be detrimental to the country’s economy.”

Key Points:

  • Compete America encouraged the Department of Homeland Security to move forward with the proposed changes to the H-1B registration and lottery immediately, while waiting to finalize other provisions of the proposed regulation.
  • Last summer, the American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Information Technology Industry Council and TechNet called on USCIS to take “immediate steps to address the procedural deficiencies that were highlighted” in the fiscal year 2024 H-1B lottery process. AILA and AIC reiterated this request in a preliminary comment on the proposed rule.
  • USCIS will continue accepting comments on the proposed regulation through Dec. 22. The agency then must review the comments before formulating a final regulation or regulations.

BAL Analysis: USCIS has indicated that it may seek to finalize provisions related to cap registrations separately from other provisions in the proposed regulation but has not definitively said it will do so. The deadline to submit comments on the proposed H-1B regulation is this Friday, Dec. 22. BAL will continue monitoring the proposal through the regulatory process and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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