Although the number of petitions filed has decreased slightly over the past couple of years, the H-1B cap has been reached every year for the last six years. Due to the high demand, businesses must be ready to file their H-1B petitions on April 1, 2019. Thus, it is time to start strategizing and preparing now.

While every year the process is stressful for employers and employees alike, this year promises to be even more so because it is not clear exactly how the program will proceed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new process: establishing a free electronic pre-registration and changing the random selection process in a way that likely will benefit U.S. master’s degree holders. While the electronic registration process could be a welcome addition, DHS does not know and has not made any definitive announcement as to whether it can implement the process quickly enough to have it ready for this year’s cap season.

This uncertainty makes it even more important to decide how you will choose to proceed. Many employers and attorneys are taking the conservative approach and preparing “as usual” to file full petitions on April 1. To decide on the best strategy for your company and what actions you should be taking now, please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss the options, challenges, and risks.