H-1B visa registration for 2022 to begin on March 9, lottery results to be notified by March 31

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The registration process for the H-1B visa application for the next fiscal year will begin on March 1 and the successful applicants through a computerised draw of lots would be notified by March 31, a federal agency has announced.

The notification by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday came a day after the Biden administration announced that it will continue with the traditional lottery system to issue the much sought-after work visa to foreign professionals.

The USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2022 H-1B will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon March 25.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

During the registration period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations, the USCS said.

The agency said if it receives enough registrations by March 25, it will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications by March 31.

The successful applicants would be able to join their new jobs in the US on October 1, when the American fiscal year starts.

As mandated by the Congress, USCIS can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas in a year. It can also issue another 20,000 H-1B visas to foreign students who have completed higher studies from a US university in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The quick announcement by USCIS on the next year’s H-1B registration process comes a day after it said that it is delaying the implementation of the Trump administration policy of allocation of H-1B through a wage and skilled based process.

The Trump era rule was scheduled to go into effect on March 9.

On January 7, the USCIS announced to do away with the traditional lottery system in deciding the successful applicants for the H-1B visas.

The USCIS had said it would prioritise wages to protect the economic interests of American workers, and better ensure that the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment programme.

In a statement on Thursday, the USCIS, however, said that it is delaying the rule’s effective date until December 31, 2021.

The USCIS can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas in a year. It can also issue another 20,000 H-1B visas to foreign students who have completed higher studies from a US university in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

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