by Farhad Sethna, Attorney
The USCIS has deferred for one year at least – the proposed pre-filing H-1b selection rule that I wrote about earlier on this blog. Under that proposal, the USCIS would require H-1b cap-filers to file a “pro-forma” selection sheet including the salient items of the position: degree requirements, salary, position, etc. The USCIS would then “select” which H-1b applications it would adjudicate from among these pro-forma applications. Only those applicants selected for eventual adjudication would then be permitted to file their complete H-1b applications beginning April 1 each year.
However, due to logistical issues with implementing that rule for the current (2019) fiscal year, the USCIS has decided NOT to require that “pre-selection” process as of now, and will start that process from the next fiscal year, FY 2020.
This year, the USCIS has announced a two-step process for selecting cap-subject H-1b applications:
Step 1. Selection of up to 65,000 (including the Chile and Singapore H-1b allocations) applications to process from the ENTIRE field of H-1b applications: both Bachelor’s degree and “Masters’+” categories; that will, the USCIS says, result in an additional estimated 5,000+ Master’s degree holders being selected for processing versus in prior fiscal years.
Step 2. Selection of 20,000 additional H-1b’s from ONLY the Master’s degree holders not selected in Step 1.
That process will comport with the Presidential directive to “Buy American, Hire American”, which requires USCIS to come up with a process to issue H-1b’s to the best qualified and highest-paid H-1b employees. As I wrote in my prior blog posting, this puts small employers and non-profits at a significant disadvantage.
Copyright, Farhad Sethna, Attorney, 2019
About the author:
Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. He was awarded his JD in 1990 and his MBA in 1991, both from the University of Akron. Since 1996, he has also been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio, where he wrote and used his own immigration textbook. Attorney Sethna is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. He has won awards for excellence in teaching and for pro-bono service. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases before federal agencies and the immigration courts nationwide. A private pilot, it is Farhad’s goal to fly to each of Ohio’s 88 county airports. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
This is only general legal information. Please consult a qualified immigration attorney for advice on your specific case.