As a follow up to my November 30, 2018 post on the H-1B pre-registration system, there remains uncertainty whether the system will launch for next year’s cap season. USCIS still does not appear ready to go live with pre-registration early next year. Several stakeholder organizations also have written to USCIS urging the agency to publish guidance soon or to delay the system another year. Waiting until the last minute to release guidance for employers and their counsel simply is not acceptable.

For this year’s cap season, USCIS took a month longer compared to last year to return the H-1B petitions that it did not select in the lottery for processing. If USCIS is slipping with something as a routine as putting a package in the mail, it seems inconceivable that it can pull off the pre-registration system with just months remaining before cap season is upon us. That no doubt is why the regulation has the built-in meltdown provision to allow USCIS to suspend the system if it goes haywire. For now it’s just a waiting game. Stay tuned.