Jackson Walker

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently made an announcement that they will begin accepting registrations for the upcoming 2022 H-1B fiscal year starting on March 9, 2021 at 12 p.m. ET and ending on March 25, 2021 at 12 p.m. ET.

The H-1B visa is the most popular visa in the U.S., as it allows for companies to sponsor employees who hold a “specialty occupation” or a job that requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field. The H-1B is subject to an annual quota where only 65,000 new H-1Bs are selected per year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for U.S. Master’s degree holders.

Each year, the demand for H-1Bs generally exceeds the supply – wherein USCIS will conduct a random selection process (“the lottery”) to determine which employers will be allowed to submit a petition with USCIS.

If a registration is successfully submitted between the dates mentioned above, USCIS intends on notifying selected registrants by no later than March 31, 2021.

H-1B petitions are popular due to the wide-range of individuals that may qualify for the visa and also because H-1Bs allow for “dual intent,” which means that an individual may have the intention of working in the U.S. temporarily under the H-1B and also concurrently move forward with their lawful permanent residence process.

Beneficiaries are able to change status from other temporary visas (i.e. F-1, TN, L-1, O-1) to the H-1B or apply for an H-1B from abroad pursuant to a “Consular Notification” process.