The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started accepting online registrations for the H-1B visa for FY22 from Tuesday, March 9, onwards. It can be noted that the registration window will be open till March 25. Candidates will be selected based on a lottery. The lottery system, however, might be replaced by wage-based selection of petitions from next year.
Those who will get selected will be notified about the same on March 31, and they can start filing the applications from April 1. On October 1, when the American financial year will begin the applicants will be able to join their workplaces.
Being a non-immigrant visa the H-1B visa allows US companies to employ foreign workers in the specialty occupations demanding theoretical or technical expertise.
As many as 2.75 lakh registrations had been received by the USCIS from sponsoring employers during the last filing season for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2021. Also, every year around 85,000 new H-1B visas are issued by the US, as per reports. The largest beneficiaries of the visa are Indians and Indian IT service firms.
Here is all you need to know about the H-1B visa application process:
1. If the required number of registrations is received by the agency then by March 25 it will randomly select the applications and will send the selection notifications by March 31.
2. A maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas can be issued by the USCIS, as mandated by the Congress. Another 20,000 H-1B visas can also be issued by the USCIS to foreign students who have completed higher studies from a US university in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
3. The traditional lottery system will be used to issue H-1B visas till December 31, 2021 hence, this year is likely to be the last year where a lottery-based selection would be used. It can be replaced with wage-based selection next year. The Biden administration has put the wage-based selection of H-1B petitions on hold till December 31.
4. In 2020, for the first time in 30 years the immigration agency had to go for a second lottery as it did not get enough applications to fill the annual quota of 85,000 visas.