Take Action: Comment on the H-1B Proposed Rule

The holiday season is a time for giving and now that it is in full swing, if you’re like me, you’re probably receiving many requests from different organizations asking for your help and support. But with this blog post, rather than asking for money, I ask you to donate just a few minutes of your time and contribute to an important initiative: commenting on the USCIS proposed rule that would significantly change the H-1B lottery process.

After successful efforts to engage members on the proposed “public charge” rule and Flores regulations, AILA has launched a model comment campaign on the proposed H-1B rule. Under the proposal, U.S. employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions would be required to electronically register each potential H-1B employee with USCIS during a designated registration period. USCIS is also proposing to reverse the order in which the agency selects cap-subject H-1B petitions to give an advantage to individuals with a U.S. master’s or higher degree.

AILA is asking members to customize and submit a comment urging USCIS to delay implementation of the H-1B registration rule until at least the fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap season or until a comprehensive, functional and thoroughly beta-tested system can be rolled out.  Given the short turnaround time on the regulation, AILA opted to focus the campaign on the timing and implementation of the electronic registration system, however, members are encouraged to weigh in on other aspects of the proposed regulation in their comments. Either way, we must ring the warning bell loud and clear to tell USCIS that these drastic and rushed changes would negatively impact American businesses, employers, and prospective H-1B visa holders.

I handle H-1B visa petitions as a substantial part of my practice. This is the time of year that my firm, like many others, is actively engaged with our clients to gear up for the upcoming H-1B cap filing season. With all of the changes and new challenges that employers face with H-1B adjudications, the last thing we need is uncertainty on the timing and mechanics of a brand-new electronic registration system. The once-per-year H-1B lottery process already creates substantial anxiety for the business community and workers. As we head into H-1B cap filing season, employers and practitioners need to be able to plan without an additional layer of unpredictability that an untested registration system would create.

Make your voice heard on this proposed rule. Submit your own comment and encourage your colleagues to do the same by sharing AILA’s model comment language with your networks. The comment template is very easy to customize and submit following this publicly available link:  Take Action: Tell USCIS to Delay Implementation of the H-1B Registration Rule.

For additional information about the proposed regulation, please see AILA’s resources, including our explainer, practice alert, an earlier Think Immigration blog post, and our QuickTake video on the proposed rule.

We have until January 2 to make an impact on this critically important proposed rule. For many, the holidays are a time to step back from our computers, but this is an issue on which we as AILA members need to be heard. We have the on-the-ground expertise to meaningfully comment – please leverage AILA’s impact and submit a comment today. It will be a great way to make a difference and ring in the New Year!

by Marketa Lindt