USCIS Late-Breaking Announcement re FY2020 H-1B Cap Season

April 10, 2019

As baseball season begins, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) throws more curveballs while employers get ready for H-1B cap season. The purpose of the changes in the announcement, as indicated by USCIS, is to support the Buy American and Hire American executive order designed to protect U.S. workers. USCIS states that the Buy American and Hire American executive order seeks to create higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers and to protect their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering U.S. immigration laws. This has included a directive to “advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.” An H-1B allows an employer to hire a foreign national for occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher in an area of specialized knowledge, or the equivalent.

USCIS has made the following announcement:

USCIS has indicated that premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap (e.g., extension of status) remains available.