Immigration Alert: What You Must Know about FY2021/2022 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

FY2021 H-1B visa Cap Has Been Reached:
On February 16, 2021, USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2021.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise EXEMPT from the cap and are filed to:
* Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
* Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
* Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
* Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
FY2022 H-1B Cap Season- Timeline:
USCIS has published an announcement on its website that the H1B Electronic Registration Process for FY 2022 will commence on March 9, 2021, at 12:00 pm (ET), following the timeline below:
• 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.
In order to submit an H-1B registration, you must first create a USCIS online account.
Wage Based Selection System for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Starts December 31, 2021
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.
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. As such, the random selection process utilized by USCIS for the FY 2021 cap season will remain in effect for the FY2022 cap season.

The Attorneys at Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP are available to provide advice and counsel concerning H-1B and other work visa categories.

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