Two important actions by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have provided clarity on the process and time frame for employers to register for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22) “cap” lottery on H-1B temporary work visas. The H-1B visa classification is familiar to many US employers, as it is used for a multitude of professional positions across many industries, most notably IT and other STEM-based positions.
Employers who need to sponsor recent college graduates or other foreign nationals under the H-1B cap must prepare now for the March 2021 limited registration period. The demand in the H-1B, temporary professional worker category, greatly outpaces annual limits.
As explained in the Client Alert, the key items of importance to employers and foreign nationals who are potential H-1B applicants are:
- The registration and selection process implemented in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) will remain in place;
- The registration for FY 22 begins on March 9, 2021 and ends on March 25, 2021;
- Changes made during the Trump administration, which would have given preference based on wage levels in the H-1B cap selection process, have been postponed beyond the FY 22 registration and selection process (other Trump-era H-1B restrictions have been withdrawn); and
- H-1B filing volume tends to decrease in times of economic downturn, increasing the chances of lottery selection.