The H-1B cap season for fiscal year 2020 will begin on Monday, April 1, 2019. As expected in previous years, the H-1B cap demand is anticipated to be high this cap season as well.

How can H-1B employers prepare for this H-1B cap season?

H-1B employers should reach out to their business immigration law firm, such as SW Law Group, to begin the process for H-1B cap petitions as soon as possible. Although the cap season does not begin until April, it is important to begin the process for H-1B cap petitions as soon as possible so that the legal team handling H-1B caps are able to gather all of the necessary documentation and information.

Likewise, an essential element of the H-1B cap is the required Labor Condition Application (LCA) that must be submitted prior to the filing of the H-1B cap petitions. Working ahead of time with legal counsel ensures that the LCAs are filed at the optimum time for the H-1B cap.

Lastly, H-1B employers who are not prepared to submit their H-1B cap petitions within the first five business days of April may result in missing the fiscal year 2020 quota for H-1B caps. This would result in an H-1B employer being unable to file any H-1B cap petitions until the next fiscal year in April of 2020.

What are the changes to this cap season?

As mentioned in a previous article, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reversing the order that the U.S. Master’s cap lottery occurs, which is intended to prioritize foreign nationals with U.S. advanced degrees (an estimated increase of 5,340 advanced-degree selections).

Although USCIS has plans to roll out a new registration system in fiscal year 2021, they will not be implementing a registration system for this H-1B cap season.

USCIS has also not yet announced if premium processing will be available for this cap season. Last year, USCIS suspended premium processing for FY 2019 H-1B cap cases, and it is unclear whether the same suspension will occur for this fiscal year’s H-1B cap season.

Our office will provide updates regarding premium processing for H-1B cap petitions as well as any other pertinent information regarding this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions regarding this fiscal year’s H-1B cap season.