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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AB71 Publication ID: Fall 2017 
Title: Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Aliens Subject to Numerical Limitations 

The Department of Homeland Security proposes to amend its regulations governing petitions filed on behalf of alien workers subject to annual numerical limitations. This rule proposes to establish an electronic registration program for petitions subject to numerical limitations for the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. This action is being considered because the demand for H-1B specialty occupation workers by U.S. companies has often exceeded the numerical limitation. This rule is intended to allow USCIS to more efficiently manage the intake and lottery process for these H-1B petitions. The Department published a proposed rule on this topic in 2011. The Department intends to publish an additional proposed rule in 2018. The proposal may include a modified selection process, as outlined in section 5(b) of Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 214   
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This regulation would help to streamline the process for administering the H-1B cap process and to ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

Summary of the Legal Basis:


DHS is currently in the process of considering policies that align with our overarching goals of ensuring the allocation of H-1B cap numbers are provided to the best and brightest foreign national beneficiaries, and ensuring that the operational process is as efficient as possible.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

While DHS is currently in the process of assessing the costs and benefits of the policy changes under consideration, DHS believes that in aggregate the proposed changes would result in better resource management and predictability for both USCIS and petitioning employers.  DHS anticipates that implementing a pre-registration process could benefit the regulated public by potentially reducing the cost and time involved in petitioning for H-1B nonimmigrants, through an up-front cap selection process where only those employers who have obtained a cap number would be required to submit the entire Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129.


Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  03/03/2011  76 FR 11686   
NPRM Comment Period End  05/02/2011    
NPRM  02/00/2018 
Additional Information: USCIS 2443-08. Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 13563.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Brian Hunt
Acting Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division, Office of Policy and Strategy
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 1200,
Washington, DC 20529-2200
Phone:202 272-8377
Fax:202 272-1480