Initial registration for H-1B visa lottery begins March 9

US visa

Lottery dates announced after Biden delays Trump’s wage based selection till yearend.

The initial registration for H-1B cap visas coveted by Indian professionals for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 will open at noon (EDT) on March 9 and run through noon  on March 25.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced over the weekend that if it receives enough registrations by March 25, it will inform randomly selected applicants through users’ myUSCIS online accounts by March 31

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, the immigration agency said.

Indian tech professionals are the biggest beneficiaries of the current lottery system getting about two thirds of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually.

READ: Missed the H-1B lottery? Here are your options (April 6, 2020)

The USCIS notification came a day after the Biden administration announced that it will continue the current H-1B lottery system until the yearend instead of replacing it with wage-based selection announced by the Trump administration.

Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically and pay the $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.

A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap solely to track registrations, USCIS said, It cannot be used to track one’s case status in Case Status Online.

Prospective petitioners submitting their own registrations will use a “registrant” account that will be available soon, the immigration agency said.


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Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 9 to enter beneficiary information and submit the $10 fee, it said.

Prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to submit registrations for multiple beneficiaries in a single online session.

Through the account, they will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.

READ: Everything you need to know about the new H-1B lottery system (January 17, 2020)

USCIS said it will conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure that representatives and registrants are familiar with the electronic registration process.

Additional information, step-by-step registration instructions, and helpful videos are available on the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.

USCIS announced last week that DHS is delaying the effective date of the H-1B selection final rule announced on Jan.7 from March 9, to Dec. 31, 2021.

For the upcoming H-1B cap season, USCIS will apply the current regulations (random selection) to any registration process for the FY 2022 that takes place before Dec 31, 2021.

The delay, it said was intended “to give USCIS more time to develop, test, and implement the modifications to the H-1B registration system and selection process” as also “train staff and perform public outreach as well as give stakeholders time to adjust to the new rule.”

READ: USCIS completes H-1B cap lottery selection for FY 2020 (April 12, 2019)

Announcing the final rule to modify the H-1B cap selection process and amend current lottery procedures in January, USCIS had said it would better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program and prioritize wages to protect the economic interests of US workers.

The first lottery will include all registered applications and will select enough registrations to meet the regular H-1B cap of 65,000.

The second lottery would include registered US advanced-degree holders who were not chosen in the first lottery and would select enough registrations to meet the H-1B Masters’ cap of 20,000.

During the last filing season, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021, USCIS had received 275,000 registrations from sponsoring employers for workers they wish to depute or hire in the US.

Of these 67.7% or 186,000 were for those from India. Roughly 46% of all registrations or 126,000 were eligible for the Masters’ cap, according to USCIS data.

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