AILA Practice Alert: Updates on FY2022 H-1B Electronic Registration Process
During the past two days, USCIS made several announcements that directly impact the timing and the selection process for the FY2022 H-1B Electronic Registration, including that: 1) the registration period will be open from March 9, 2021, to March 25, 2021, and 2) USCIS will continue to use a random selection process for this year’s H-1B lottery. For more resources, please see AILA’s Featured Issues Page on the FY2022 Cap-Subject H-1B Filing Season.
Timing of the FY2022 H-1B Registration Period
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USCIS is required by 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(3) to establish an H-1B Cap Selection Process
On January 8, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule that replaces the current random selection process by which USCIS selects H-1B registrations for filing of H-1B cap-subject petitions. The new system will select registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage level that the offered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and area(s) of intended employment. The rule was scheduled to take effect on March 9, 2021.
USCIS has published an announcement on its website that the H-1B registration process will commence at on March 9, 2021, at 12:00 pm (ET). The registration process timeline is as follows:
March 9: H-1B registration process opens at Noon, Eastern Time;
March 25: H-1B registration process closes at Noon, Eastern Time;
March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants; and
April 1: Earliest date that FY2022 H-1B cap subject petitions may be filed.
USCIS is also required to announce the start and end dates of the initial annual initial H-1B registration period that lasts a minimum of 14 calendar days and starts at least 14 calendar days before the earliest date on which H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed for a particular fiscal year. Accordingly, the latest date that the agency could have begun the registration process for FY2022 is March 18, 2021. By way of background, the H-1B registration process for FY2021 began on March 1, 2020, and concluded on March 20, 2020.
On February 4, 2021, the DHS posted for public inspection a final rule delaying the effective date of the wage based selection system for H-1B cap-subject petitions until December 31, 2021. This rule will publish in the Federal Register on February 8, 2021. As such, the random selection process utilized by USCIS for the FY 2021 cap season will remain in effect for the FY2022 cap season.