USCIS has announced that the annual limit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap employment has been met and the lottery selection process has been completed. Sponsoring employers and their attorneys have been notified of the selection results and are now able to view the status of their submissions in their registration accounts.
During the initial registration period, employers submitted more than enough registrations to meet the quota of 65,000 standard H-1B cap numbers and the cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. The precise number of cap registrations submitted has not yet been disclosed.
H-1B cap petition filing begins April 1
USCIS will begin to accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of lottery selectees on April 1, 2021. The petition filing period will end no earlier than 90 days thereafter. All FY 2022 H-1B cap petitions must be submitted during this period for registrations selected between March 25 and 30. Selection notices received thus far reflect an April 1 to June 30, 2021 filing period.
Though in most cases a cap petition can be filed at any point during the filing period, some cases may need to be filed at specific times. If the beneficiary is an F-1 student working on optional practical training (OPT) who will need cap-gap protection, the petition must be filed before his or her OPT employment authorization document expires. If the beneficiary is awaiting completion or award of a required degree, the petition must not be filed until the degree has been issued or the beneficiary has obtained documentation from the appropriate school official that degree requirements have been satisfied.
USCIS has not announced whether premium processing will be suspended for FY 2022 cap petitions. As of today, premium processing is being accepted for all eligible application types, but USCIS could announce service delays or suspensions with little or no notice, as in prior years.
What this means for foreign nationals registered in the cap lottery
Your H-1B sponsoring employer and its attorney will access the USCIS registration system to determine the outcome of the FY 2022 cap lotteries. Employers will review selections and follow their agreed communication protocols for notification of selection. Please rest assured that you will be notified in due course. For those selected in the lottery, we will proceed with next steps for filing an H-1B petition with USCIS. If your registration was not selected, please rest assured that a communication and any related immigration strategy will follow.