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The Luck of the Draw: H-1B Lottery Set to Open March 9-25

2 min read
Visa Renewal Pilot Program

Recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officially announced that the H-1B Lottery (electronic registration period) for FY2022 will be open from 9th March through 25th March 2021. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to submit their registrations for potential H-1B applicants.

Because of the predetermined number of U.S. employment visa options available to foreign nationals the H-1B is one of the most coveted ways an individual can receive permission to temporarily work and live in the U.S. Remarkably, H-1Bs can be allowed to foreign nationals who will work in “specialty occupation” positions in the U.S. (i.e., professional-level jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a specific field of study).

Each fiscal year, the U.S. government makes 85,000 new H-1B visas available, including 20,000 H-1Bs reserved for holders of U.S. Master’s degrees or higher. Competition is typically stiff, however, and USCIS has got more submissions than the 85,000 spots available in every one of the last serval years.

H-1B Lottery

Accordingly, H-1B applicants are typically subject to a randomized lottery conducted by USCIS. Which was led electronically for the first time last year. Wherein only a portion of submissions are selected for further adjudication. Notably, the current year’s selection process should change to a pay-based preference system. However, that last rule is temporarily postponed until 31st December 2021.

During the registration period, organizations or their representatives can register for all H-1B applicants. They look to sponsor through their myUSCIS account. H-1B candidates can include existing U.S. employees in another immigration status. Worldwide employees who as of now sit abroad, or forthcoming employment applicants who require U.S. work authorization to assume employment.

[Joe Biden revokes Trump-era ban blocking legal immigration to the US]

If USCIS gets enough registrations by 25th March 2021 (which it is required to again). The agency will randomly select a portion of registrations for further adjudication and inform prospective petitioners and representatives by 31st March. If the USCIS chooses an employer’s registration in the lottery, the employer will have 90 days from notification to file its entire H-1B petition for the selected candidate(s).

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