On Friday, 19th November 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suddenly announced the results of a third H-1B cap lottery for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) H-1B cap. The agency selected an extra number of H-1B registrations from the original submissions, which happened during the registration period from March 9th to 25th March 2021.
As recently announced by Mintz, USCIS held open the possibility of subsequent H-1B selection periods for registrations submitted in March, if an insufficient number of H-1B petitions were filed with USCIS based on the initial lottery selections.
USCIS has determined that there were fewer filed H-1B petitions. As compared to selected H-1B registrations in the prior two lotteries. As a result, USCIS selected an additional 16,753 registrations out of the around 190,000 unselected registrations from March. In order to ensure that enough petitions are approved to fill the annual quota of 85,000.
Third H-1B Cap Lottery
For selected registrations, USCIS has given a 90-day filing window. Petitioners might file H-1B cap petitions for chosen registrations between 22nd November 2021, and 23rd February 2022.
This is the second year that the H-1B registrations system has been used for the H-1B Cap process. And the first time that a third lottery has been held.
USCIS recently announced that 308,613 registrations were submitted by candidates in the initial March registration period. Moreover, 87,500 registrations were selected in the first lottery on 30th March 2021.
Followed by 27,717 in the second lottery on 29th July 2021, and, as mentioned above. On Friday an extra 16,753 registrations were selected, bringing the FY2022 total to 131,908 selections or a final selection rate of 42.7%.
We do not expect USCIS to conduct any further lottery selections for the FY2022 H-1B cap. As of now, USCIS still has not yet rejected any H-1B registrations. Registrations that are not selected in the initial lottery will be held “in reserve”. In the event that USCIS does not receive an H-1B petition for each selected registration. While there is a possibility that USCIS will hold subsequent lotteries and select some of those registrations. That are held in reserve, it is unlikely that USCIS will conduct a fourth lottery.