On February 8, 2021, USCIS published a notice delaying the effective date of a final rule on the H-1B selection process until December 30, 2021. That means this year (or FY2022), the H-1B selection process for H-1B cap-subject petitions will remain the same as in 2020. Any prospective H-1B beneficiaries or employers will need to start their H1B registration by electronic registration and random lottery process.
2021 (FY2022) H-1B Registration Period and Fee
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the initial registration period for the FY2022 H-1B will open at noon Eastern time on March 9 and run through till noon Eastern time on March 25, 2021. To submit the registration, as a Petitioner (employer), you will need to pay a $10 H-1B registration fee for each Beneficiary (prospective H-1B employee).
2021 (FY2020) H-1B Lottery
Due to limited available H-1B cap, if USCIS receives more H-1B applications than the authorized annual H-1B cap, they will run a lottery to decide whose H1B applications will be eligible for adjudication. Upon the end of the H-1B online registration period, all the timely filed H-1B registrants will enter a H-1B lottery. The H-1b lottery usually takes several days to be conducted and complete. After that, USCIS will notify the selected H-1B registrants via their registration system by March 31, 2021. Only those that are selected in the lottery are eligible to file the complete documents for their H-1B petitions.
What happens if a H-1B registration is selected?
Once a H-1B registration has been selected, the next step is to prepare and submit a full H-1B petition to the USCIS. The earliest date that the FY2022 H-1B Cap petition may be filed is April 1, 2021. The initial filing period will be 90 days. So, the initial filing period is from April 1 to June 30, 2021. If USCIS did not receive enough petitions to meet the 85,000 quotas (6,5000 regular cap plus 20,000 Master’s Degree Cap) by June 30, 2021, they will run a second-round lottery. In 2020, USCIS conducted a second lottery and started notifying the result on August 14.
Important FY2022 H-1B Cap Dates
|H-1B Registration Start Date||03/09/2021|
|H-1B Registration End Date||03/25/2021|
|H-1B Filing Start Date||04/01/2021|
|H-1B Initial Filing End Date||06/30/2021|
Considerations for H-1B Employers
H-1B Employers should consider their hiring needs, identify the potential candidates, and gather basic information necessary for the initial registration as early as possible.
Employers with potential candidates who are being employed under F-1 OPT status must analyze potential cap-gap issues to ensure the compliance of F-1 status, uninterrupted employment authorization and a smooth change of status from F-1 visa to H-1B visa status. The merits of the H1B petition should be analyzed prior to registration, if selected in the lottery, a strong case should be put forward.
Hire an experienced Chicago H-1B immigration attorney to guide you through the H-1B process
If your organizations have any questions regarding the upcoming H-1B cap season, please contact our H-1B immigration attorneys today. We have excellent track record helping businesses and professionals to obtain their H-1B petitions. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Chicago and Lincoln Park area. We look forward to serving you.