In a move not seen since the introduction of the electronic H-1B registration process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a third round of lottery selections for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap season. In a press release issued on November 19, 2021, USCIS indicated that additional H-1B selections were needed in order to reach the annual H-1B Cap numerical allocations, including under the exemption for applicants holding advanced degrees. Accordingly, USCIS made additional selections from the previously submitted pool of electronic registrations using its standard random selection process. As was the case in the prior two rounds of selections, employers (and employers’ representatives) were notified of any new selections via an update in their respective myUSCIS accounts.

USCIS conducted an initial random selection for this year’s H-1B cap in March 2021. A second random selection was completed by USCIS on July 28, 2021. With the announcement of a third random selection, USCIS has affirmed that it has not yet selected enough cases to meet the statutory H-1B numerical allocation of 85,000 visas (65,000 under the “regular” cap and an additional 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption). USCIS “take[s] into account historical data related to approvals, denials, revocations, and other relevant factors to calculate the number of registrations needed to meet the H-1B numerical allocations for a given fiscal year.”

For the third round of selections, the petition filing period will open on November 22, 2021, and will close on February 23, 2022.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.