Before, USCIS put all petitions in a lottery system; first, it selected the statutory 20,000 slots earmarked for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher, then placed all petitions–including those with an advanced U.S. degree–in a regular pool.
This year, USCIS will include all advanced-degree petitions in the general lottery first, then conduct a second lottery to exempt 20,000 advanced-degree slots until the annual statutory limit is met.
USCIS proposed another change this year, but will not apply to this year’s cap petitions: the employer registration system.
Next year, for FY 2021 petitions, employers will be required to register online in order to submit an H1-B petition.
USCIS states that “the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.”