Tools for Success in Fiscal Year 2022’s H-1B Cap Selection Process

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By Brittany Simmons

After months of uncertainty, the H-1B cap selection process for fiscal year (FY) 2022 is shaping up to be similar to the prior year. Human resources professionals should keep a close eye on the H-1B cap selection timeline and prepare for the process as soon as possible. Work closely with your Chugh, LLP attorney to ensure you have a seamless H-1B cap season.

The myUSCIS online H-1B cap registration system has not changed much since it was implemented last year, saving US employers time and money by allowing them to file petitions only for selected H-1B cap-subject cases. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will also delay the Trump administration’s proposed rule that would prioritize H-1B beneficiaries based on wage level until at least December 31, 2021.

h-1b cap Selection: a timeline

Employers will be able to register prospective H-1B workers for the lottery during a two-week registration period from March 9, 2021 at 12 PM EST through March 25, 2021 at 12 PM EST. A $10 registration fee is due for each beneficiary. Only timely filed registrations are eligible for the lottery.

USCIS will select H-1B beneficiaries and notify petitioners and their representatives of each registrant’s results on March 31, 2021. The agency will conduct a randomized lottery selection process if it receives more registrants than there are cap-subject visas available. However, if USCIS does not receive enough submissions, every registrant will be selected to receive an H-1B visa.

Beginning on April 1, 2021, employers and their attorneys will have 90 days to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for selected beneficiaries. If USCIS does not receive a cap-subject petition for a beneficiary by June 30, 2021, then in most cases they will not be able to receive an H-1B visa for fiscal year 2022.

Registrants that are not selected on March 31, 2021 will be held in reserve over the fiscal year. If not enough cap-subject H-1B petitions are filed or accepted by USCIS to fill the total number of visas allotted for the year, a second lottery will take place. When a second lottery was conducted in August 2020, petitioners had a 90-day window to file the selected petition.

Nine tips for successful H-1b registration and petition filing 

Begin to work with your Chugh, LLP team as early as possible for a seamless H-1B cap registration process. Here are nine useful tips for human resources professionals to successfully complete an H-1B cap sponsorship for FY 2022.

  1. Work with your trusted Chugh, LLP attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your H-1B candidates before registering them online. This will help you avoid delays and missed opportunities.
  1. Sign up for myUSCIS before the registration process opens on March 9, 2021. Familiarize yourself with the platform. If you have used the platform before, there may be some changes since you last logged in. Employers and their retained attorneys must first register for an account on myUSCIS before completing the online registration process. You may need to create a new account even if you have an existing myUSCIS account that was created prior to the new cap registration system.
  1. When creating your myUSCIS account, use an email account that you check frequently as USCIS will contact you through this email to complete the registration process.
  1. H-1B deadlines are quick and inflexible. Please be ready with your cap-subject beneficiaries list before March 9 and prepare to submit this list as soon as practicable. If you have an unselected registrant from last year’s cap that you would like to have considered for the upcoming cap, you will need to re-register the beneficiary as their registration will not carry over from the prior year.

  2. Account for technical errors and time outs on the myUSCIS platform. When a registration has been successful, the status will appear as “submitted”. Unpaid registrants cannot be submitted.
  1. Obtain copies of your cap beneficiaries’ biographical passport data pages and education information, specifically for those with a US master’s degree, well before the registration process opens. Remind beneficiaries often as the deadlines are tight.
  1. The master’s cap provides beneficiaries with two chances in the cap lottery. To qualify, the beneficiary must have earned his or her master’s degree by the time that the H-1B cap-subject petition is filed. This allows for May and early- to mid-June 2021 graduates to be included in the master’s cap.
  1. Have your HR management teams perform employee on-boarding procedures simultaneously with the H-1B registration process so that, if your beneficiary is selected, you are ready to file as early as possible.

You must file H-1B cap-subject petitions at the address listed on the H-1B selection notice for selected registrants and include the selection notice in the petition. This address may differ from what is listed on the USCIS website. Late filings may be rejected, no matter what caused the delay.

Conclusion

Contact your trusted Chugh, LLP attorney to begin preparing for the H-1B cap season as soon as possible.

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