USCIS completes H-1B cap lottery process for FY 2022

90- day window opens from April 1 for filing detailed H-1B petitions by sponsoring employers.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the completion of the cap lottery process for the fiscal year 2022 for H-1B visas widely used by Indian professionals.

The immigration agency said Tuesday that it had received enough e-registrations during the initial registration period to reach the H-1B quota of 85,000, including the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

In recent years, Indian professionals have been getting about two thirds of 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually to allow US companies to employ high skilled foreign workers in ‘specialty occupations’.

READ: Initial registration for H-1B visa lottery begins March 9 (February 8, 2021)

These include 65,000 regular H-1B cap subject visas and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas if the beneficiary has a master’s or higher degree from a US university.

“We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap,” USCIS stated.  “We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.”

The online accounts of H-1B registrants will now show one of the four statuses – ‘Submitted’, ‘Selected’, ‘Denied’, and ‘Invalidated-Failed Payment’.

READ: USCIS replaces H-1B lottery with wage-based selection (January 8, 2021)

The ‘Denied’ status would show in case multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary.

Detailed H-1B cap-subject petitions for those selected in the lottery process, including petitions eligible for the master’s cap, now have to be filed by the sponsoring employers from April 1, 2021.

At least 90 days window will be available to file the H-1B cap-subject petition by paper at the correct service centre as online filing is not available for H-1B petitions.

Petitioners must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2022 H-1B cap-subject petition.

“Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition,” the agency said.

READ: USCIS reaches FY 2021 H-1B visa cap (February 17, 2021)

Only petitioners with selected registrations may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2022, and only for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration notice, USCIS said.

When completing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, please ensure that the below question is included as Question 5 in Supplement H on page 13.

“5. If you selected a. or d. in Item Number 4., and are filing an H-1B cap petition (including a petition under the U.S. advanced degree exemption), provide the Beneficiary Confirmation Number from the H-1B Registration Selection Notice for the beneficiary named in this petition (if applicable).”

If you have already filled out Form I-129 and this question was not included, you may replace Supplement H in your petition by printing out and completing pages 13 and 14 from the current version of Form I-129 on uscis.gov and including them with your petition.

Starting July 1, 2021, USCIS will only accept the 03/10/21 edition of Form I-129. Until then, you can also use the 09/30/20 and 01/27/20 editions.

The lottery system was used for the current season since the department of homeland security (DHS) has delayed the implementation of the proposed wage based H-1B selection process announced by the previous Trump administration until Dec. 31, 2021.

The delay is supposed to provide more time to the immigration agency to train its staff and give stakeholders time to adjust to the new rule.

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