The Department of Homeland Security announced a change to the H-1B selection process for cap-subject petitions. The changes will result in a more efficient and effective H-1B petition process and will also increase the chances for beneficiaries with a U.S. Masters degree to be accepted in the lottery.
Traditionally, USCIS performed the Masters Cap lottery first. Once the Masters Cap lottery was completed, any remaining Masters Cap cases were included in the regular Cap lottery. With the new rule, the regular Cap lottery will be performed first, including all Master Cap cases. After the regular Cap lottery is completed, any Masters Cap cases not selected in the regular Cap lottery will be given a second opportunity to receive an H-1B under the Masters Cap lottery. Performing the lottery this way will reduce the amount of cases in the Masters Cap lottery and increase the percentage of Masters cases selected in the lottery. The estimate is an increased chance of 16% for Masters Cap cases. The reverse selection order will apply to all petitions filed for the upcoming H-1B cap season to begin on April 1, 2019.