U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2022 H-1B cap will open on March 9 and end on March 25. Please note that noon EST is the time on both the 9th and 25th. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives can fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations.
The H-1B Program
The H-1B program allows United Stated employers to temporarily employ international workers. The workers must fill jobs that require specialized knowledge in a particular area. Also, the worker must have bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty. H-1B specialty occupations include fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts. H-1B visas are good for a period of up to three years with a possible extension to a total of six years.
What is the H-1B Cap
The H-1B classification has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 new approvalsvisas each fiscal year. There are several exemptions to this cap. First, there are exemptions for 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education. Second, the cap does not apply to H-1B workers for employment at institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations or government research organizations.
All registrations my be done through a myUSCIS online account. There is a $10 H-1B registration fee for the submission of each beneficiary registration. Prospective petitioners, U.S. employees and U.S. agents, use a “registrant” account. Representatives, attorneys, may add clients to their accounts at any time. Also, 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. Each employer/beneficiary pair must only register once. The system will throw out duplicate entries.
If the cap is reached by March 25, USCIS will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications. Following this, account holders should be notified by March 31.
It is important for employers to carefully execute the registration process. Failure to do so may disqualify the selection of your beneficiaries. I am happy to discuss the process with you. So, please call me if you need help or if you have other immigration law questions.