Race For 85,000 H1B Visas Begin As US Govt Completes Lottery Selection From Lakhs Of Applicants

USCIS  will begin to accept the H-1B cap petition on behalf of a lottery-based selection on April 1, 2021
USCIS will begin to accept the H-1B cap petition on behalf of a lottery-based selection on April 1, 2021

The lottery for H-1B petitions for FY22 has been completed by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). From April 1, 2021, the selected petitioners can start filing the applications. 

The H-1B visa is mostly for Indian IT professionals. The United States issues 85,000 H-1B visas every year and thousands of employees from countries such as India and China are hired by technical companies.

Eligibility Criteria To File An H-1B Cap-Subject Petition

Petitions have been selected for both regular and advanced degrees. The number of requests submitted was not disclosed by the immigration department.“We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration,” the USCIS said.

The US issues 85,000 H-1B visas per year. However, every year registrations exceed the total visas issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Last year, the USCIS received nearly 2.67 lakh registrations, with India accounting for more than 60% of them. In such instances, the USCIS used the random selection process to select the candidates.

However, at the back of COVID-19, the immigration agency had to go for a second lottery in 2020, for the first time in 30 years, as it did not get enough applications to fill the annual quota of 85,000 visas.

Delaying The Effective Date And Implementation Periods

The Biden Administration has proposed delaying the implementation of the previous Trump regime’s controversial rule to raise the mandatory minimum pay for foreign workers. The administration has currently put this on hold till December 31, 2021. This is also likely to be the last year where a lottery-based selection would be used.

According to an official release, the proposed delay would give the Department of Labour enough time to fully consider the rule’s legal and policy concerns, issue an upcoming Request for Information, and collect public comments on the sources and methods for deciding prevailing wage levels.

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