January 31, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 31


January 30, 2023

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USCIS Conducts Third H-1B Cap Lottery

On Friday, November 19, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unexpectedly announced the results of a third H-1B cap lottery for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) H-1B cap. The agency selected an additional number of H-1B registrations from the original submissions, which occurred during the registration period from March 9 to March 25, 2021.

As previously reported by Mintz, USCIS held open the possibility of subsequent H-1B selection periods for registrations submitted in March, if an insufficient number of H-1B petitions were filed with USCIS based on the initial lottery selections.

USCIS has determined that there were fewer filed H-1B petitions as compared to selected H-1B registrations in the prior two lotteries. As a result, USCIS selected an additional 16,753 registrations out of the roughly 190,000 unselected registrations from March in order to ensure that enough petitions are approved to fill the annual quota of 85,000.

For selected registrations, USCIS has provided a 90-day filing window. Petitioners may file H-1B cap petitions for selected registrations between November 22, 2021 and February 23, 2022.

This is the second year that the H-1B registration system has been utilized for the H-1B Cap process, and the first time that a third lottery has been held.

USCIS previously announced that 308,613 registrations were submitted by applicants in the initial March registration period. 87,500 registrations were selected in the first lottery on March 30, 2021, followed by 27,717 in the second lottery on July 29, 2021, and, as mentioned above, on Friday an additional 16,753 registrations were selected, bringing the FY2022 total to 131,908 selections or a final selection rate of 42.7%.

We do not expect USCIS to conduct any further lottery selections for the FY2022 H-1B cap. At this time, USCIS still has not yet rejected any H-1B registrations. Registrations that are not selected in the initial lottery will be held “in reserve” in the event that USCIS does not receive an H-1B petition for each selected registration. While there is a possibility that USCIS will hold subsequent lotteries and select some of those registrations that are held in reserve, it is unlikely that USCIS will conduct a fourth lottery.

©1994-2023 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 326

About this Author

Lindsey H. Steinberg Immigration Attorney Mintz Levin Law Firm

Lindsey focuses her practice on complex corporate immigration matters. She has significant experience handling work-related visas, including both nonimmigrant and immigrant applications and petitions; responding to federal agency audits and requests for evidence; and counseling employers on best practices related to immigration requirements, including PERM supervised recruitment.

Prior to joining Mintz, Lindsey was a business immigration associate with an immigration law firm based in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she prepared and filed H-1B, O-1, E-3, and TN visa applications and...