H-1B Cap Season Opens March 1st!
On January 28, 2022, the USCIS announced that the 2022 (FY23) H-1B cap season will open March 1st. Beginning February 21st, new employer-petitioners will be able to create new accounts beginning at 12pm Eastern Time on February 21st with the registration portal opening for new registrations on March 1st and closing at 12pm Eastern time on March 18, 2022.
Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed some changes to the registration process, 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.
- Registration will commence at noon March 1st and will end at noon on March 18th.
- Prior to registration, employers must create an account in the USCIS portal, which we recommend doing on or soon after February 21st.
- 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.
As this is 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.