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on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 in Labor & Employment Law Update: Sarah M. Huyck, Editor

The 2022 H-1B cap season will be starting in just over a month and will be the first in some time taking place under record unemployment and economic conditions that will likely only increase the demand for high-skilled foreign workers needing such visa status.  As a reminder, there are a limited number of H-1B visas available each fiscal year under federal regulation, with each year’s quota becoming available April 1 for employment commencing October 1.  We are encouraging our clients to begin preparing now, especially as these nonimmigrant workers may have multiple employment offers to choose from this year.  Every year, the number of registrations greatly outnumbers the number of cap-subject H-1B visas available – it is highly unlikely that this year will be any different.

Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has yet to issue an update on this year’s cap season, no major changes are expected and the selection process will remain unchanged for at least one more year.  Some basic information on the process for those who are new to cap season (or a refresher for cap veterans) includes: 

  • Employers must submit an electronic registration before April 1 for each prospective H-1B candidate.
  • Registrations have historically commenced in March and will likely end at or soon after March 20th – USCIS has yet to announce the exact dates as of yet.
  • Prior to registration, employers must create an account in the USCIS portal, which we recommend doing in February.
  • No priority is given to registrations submitted at the beginning of the registration period versus those at the end.
  • All registrations require a $10 non-refundable registration fee.
  • Following the close of the registration period, USCIS conducts a random lottery.
  • Petitioners whose registrations are selected in the lottery will be invited to file full H-1B petitions in the 90-day period beginning April 1.

If you are interested in sponsoring H-1B nonimmigrant visa status for a current or future employee, please contact us right away so we can ensure that you are prepared for the upcoming cap season.

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