By: Cristina Perez, Esq.
On February 5, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open on March 9, 2021 and close on March 25, 2021. USCIS will continue to use a random selection process for this year’s H-1B lottery. During this period, employers/petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit registrations for the 2022 H-1B as was done last fiscal year.
Timing of the FY2022 H-1B Registration Period
USCIS has published an announcement on its website that the H-1B registration process will commence on March 9, 2021, at 12:00 pm (ET). The registration process timeline is as follows:
March 9: H-1B registration process opens at Noon, ET
March 25: H-1B registration process closes at Noon, ET
March 31: USCIS will notify selected registrants; and
April 1: Earliest date that FY2022 H-1B cap subject petitions may be filed.
A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. An H-1B cap-subject petition may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for that beneficiary was selected in the H-1B registration process.
Important Things to Remember about the “Electronic Registration Requirement:”
- A petitioner/employer who seeks to a file H-1B cap petitions will be required to first electronically register with USCIS during the designated registration period. Prospective H-1B employers or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register. Creating “registrants” accounts will be available soon.
- A petitioner/employer must electronically submit a separate registration for each beneficiary it seeks to register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of each beneficiary.
- A petitioner/employer may only submit one registration per beneficiary in any fiscal year.
- USCIS will notify petitioners whose registration has been selected into the visa lottery that the petitioner is eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of the beneficiary named in the notice and file an H-1B cap-subject petition during the associated filing period, which will be at least 90 days.
It is recommended that if an employer has potential H-1B applicants that they immediately start gathering the information and documentation required to evaluate a potential employee’s eligibility for the H-1B visa. A thorough analysis must be made to determine whether the position and employee meet the required eligibility requirements of a “specialty occupation.”
What is the H-1B Visa Category?
The H-1B visa category allows U.S. companies to temporarily employ highly-educated foreign professionals in specialty occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge gained through a bachelor’s degree or higher education in a specific specialty. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as science, engineering, mathematics, information technology and business.
Since the category was created in 1990, Congress limits the number of H-1Bs made available each year. The current annual statutory cap is 65,000 visas, with 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher learning.
Leech Tishman has successfully represented companies and foreign professionals in the H-1B visa application process. Please feel free contact our firm for any inquiries into the H-1B process or for a thorough analysis of viable non-immigrant visa alternatives for foreign professional workers.
Note, some of the information in this Alert was derived from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
If you have any questions regarding professional visas or any immigration issue affecting an employer, please contact Cristina Perez. Cristina is a Partner in Leech Tishman’s Employment & Labor Practice Group, focusing on Immigration. She is based in the firm’s Los Angeles, CA office and can be reached at 818.550.8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, aviation & aerospace, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, cannabis, construction, corporate, data privacy & cybersecurity, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.