Last year, the USCIS indicated that it would be changing how employers file H-1B quota petitions in the future. In the proposal, the USCIS stated that it would be transitioning to an electronic-based lottery system in order to determine which H-1B quota petitions are accepted for processing under the H-1B quota. As previously indicated, the H-1B regular quota is currently limited to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 numbers available to individuals who have earned U.S. Masters or higher degrees. Based upon feedback from its stakeholders, the USCIS has indicated that it will be postponing issuing a final rule implementing an advanced registration process for H-1B petitions. The USCIS indicated that many stakeholders stated that the advanced registration system would in fact create many challenges for businesses. Therefore, the USCIS stated that it will assess how the proposed regulation's objectives can be achieved within the framework of its ongoing transformation initiatives and will not be implementing the system for the Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B quota (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013) which opens on April 1, 2012.
In September 2011, the USCIS changed how it issues approval notices. The USCIS made this change without notifying the public. Approximately two weeks after changing the system, the USCIS held a stakeholder meeting during which it gained an understanding of the impact that the change has had on its stakeholders. After reviewing the comments from its stakeholders, the USCIS has decide to return to its previous method of issuing the original approval notice to the attorney or accredited representative's address stated on the Form G-28. A copy of the approval notice will be sent to the applicant or petitioner. The USCIS indicated that it will take approximately six weeks for this change to take effect because the USCIS will have to reprogram its systems to return to the previous procedure.