FY 2022 H-1B Electronic Process
H-1B REGISTRATION FOR FY 2022 OPENS MARCH 9, 2021
After some uncertainty, USCIS has announced that it will continue to use the electronic registration process and random selection started last year for this year’s H-1B lottery. This process requires employers to register electronically and pay a $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.
The initial registration period for FY 2022 will open at noon Eastern Time on March 9 and run through noon ET on March 25.
Prospective petitioners must use a “registrant” account within myUSCIS to submit registrations (see: https://myaccount.uscis.gov/users/sign_up).
USCIS will notify registrants and their attorneys about selected registrations through their USCIS online accounts no later than March 31, 2021. The H-1B registration process timeline will be:
- March 9: H-1B registration process opens at 12 pm ET.
- March 25: H-1B registration process closes at 12 pm ET.
- March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.
- April 1: Earliest date by which FY2022 H-1B cap subject petitions may be filed.
The H-1B cap selection process to be used for FY 2022 had been uncertain after the DHS published its January 8, 2021 final rule with an effective date of March 9, 2021 to replace the random selection with a new wage-based system to select registrations that would give priority to the highest prevailing wage level for the position. On February 4, 2021, however, DHS posted a new final rule delaying the effective date of the wage-based selection system for the H-1B cap-subject petitions until December 31, 2021. By delaying implementation, USCIS acknowledged that it did not have adequate time for an effective and orderly implementation of the H-1B wage-based selection process. DHS will accept comments on the delayed effective date for 30 days, until March 9, 2021, and during this time it will also evaluate the January 8, 2021 rule.
The H-1B visa category applies to foreign nationals working in specialty occupations requiring a focused bachelor’s or higher degree. Only 65,000 H-1B visa numbers are available each year by statute, with an additional 20,000 exemption for those with U.S. master’s or higher degrees. Because demand for these valuable work visas far exceeds the annual allotment of 85,000, USCIS conducts a lottery to decide which employer-filed petitions to consider during the fiscal year that runs from October 1 to September 30.
U.S. employers with foreign national employees in F-1 student status, J-1 exchange visitor, dependent, or another nonimmigrant status that will expire before October 1 should consider preparing for the upcoming H-1B lottery.
Please contact a D&G lawyer about the H-1B registration process and the items needed for a successful H-1B petition.