On June 9, 2021, USCIS released statistics on the H-1B lottery registration for Fiscal Year 2022.
Between March 9, 2021, and March 25, 2021, USCIS received 308,613 H-1B lottery registrations. A 12% increase from the 274,237 registrations filed for the March 2020 lottery.
For each fiscal year, there are only 85,000 new (or “cap-subject”) H-1Bs available: 65,000 for foreign nationals with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent education) from a U.S. or foreign college or university, and an additional 20,000 for foreign nationals with a graduate degree from a U.S. college or university.
Accordingly, the selection rate for the March 2021 lottery was 27.5%, a significant decline from the prior fiscal year.
Will there be a second lottery?
USCIS is accepting H-1B petitions for those registrations that were selected in the lottery from April 1 to June 30, 2021.
If USCIS does not receive enough H-1B petitions based on the registrations selected in March 2021 to meet the Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B numerical allocation, then a second lottery will occur (as was the case in August 2020) to meet the allocation for Fiscal Year 2022.
What if a beneficiary’s OPT expires before October 1?
If the beneficiary of a selected registration will run out of OPT status before October 1, 2021, the beneficiary should reach out to their school’s DSO to request a “cap-gap” I-20 be issued to extend his or her work authorization until September 30, 2021.
Can premium processing be requested?
Unlike prior years, USCIS is accepting premium processing requests for Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B lottery petitions. To do so, a petitioner must file Form I-907 and pay the $2,500 premium processing fee.