USCIS reaches FY 2021 H-1B visa cap

Initial registration  for  H-1B  lottery for FY 2022 from March 9 to  25.

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa US advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2021.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) announcement comes weeks before the initial registration for H-1B cap visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022 opens from March 9 to March 25.

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

During the last filing season, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021, USCIS had received 275,000 registrations from sponsoring employers for foreign workers in specialty occupations to deploy 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.

“We have completed sending non-selection notifications to registrants’ online accounts.” the immigration agency said Tuesday.

READ: USCIS reaches H-1B visa cap for 2018-2019 fiscal year (April 7, 2018)

“The status for registrations properly submitted for the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations, but that were not selected, will now show:

Not Selected: Not selected for this fiscal year.”

USCIS said it will “continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2021 H-1B cap.”

USCIS said it will also continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;

Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

READ: H-1B visa cap reached for both 65,000 regular, 20,000 master’s exemption categories (April 7, 2017)

USCIS also encouraged H-1B petitioners to subscribe to the H-1B cap season email updates located on the H-1B Cap Season page.

Announcing initial registration for H-1B cap visas for FY 2022 on Feb 5, USCIS had said if it receives enough registrations by March 25, it will inform randomly selected applicants through users’ myUSCIS online accounts by March 31.

With the DHS delaying the effective date of the H-1B wage-based selection final rule announced on Jan.7 by the previous Trump administration from March 9, to Dec. 31, 2021, USCIS will continue the lottery system in the current season.

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.

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