Tuesday March 1, 2022 will be Opening Day for this year’s H-1B lottery for H-1B “Cap cases.” Beginning March 1, employers can start to register current or future employees who need H-1B visas to work in the United States. The lottery will remain open until Noon Eastern Time on Friday March 18, 2021.
If you need help registering your employee for the H-1B lottery, send us an email now or call us at (216) 593-0180.
The purpose of the lottery is to decide who can apply for the 85,000 new H-1B visas that become available each year. These visas are needed by workers who have not previously held H-1B status. In many cases these are foreign students who have recently graduated from U.S. universities and who are now working on OPT (Optional Practical Training). Applicants may also be persons in other nonimmigrant status, such as L-1, L-2, or H-4. In other cases they are persons outside the U.S. who have a U.S. job offer. Employers can apply for these visas, for workers selected in the lottery, beginning April 1, 2022. If approved, the petitions will have a start date of October 1, 2022.
Under the new system that started in 2020, employers can register their beneficiaries on a new USCIS website with just basic information and a filing fee of $10. USCIS will then hold the lottery and notify the “winners.” Employers will then have 90 days to submit a complete petition. The advantage of this new process is that employers will not have to incur the time and expense of preparing an H-1B petition unless their employee is actually selected in the lottery.
Selection in the lottery does not guarantee an H-1B visa will be approved. The petition must still satisfy all the requirements of the H-1B category. These requirements include:
- The minimum entry requirement for the job must be a bachelor’s degree or better, such as an engineer, software developer, teacher, or accountant.
- The foreign worker must have the necessary degree.
- The employer must agree to pay the prevailing wage for the occupation as determined by guidelines of the Department of Labor.
Our law firm has many years of experience filing successful H-1B petitions for employers throughout the United States in every industry. The application process is highly complex. Let our experience work for you!