H1-B Visa Lottery Cap 2022: Complete Process, Final Dates, Fees & Electronic Registration

Posted on February 04, 2021
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Why H1-B Visa?

H1-B is the most sought after visa in the U.S. today after the green card. Although a non-immigrant visa, the H1-B, often leads to permanent U.S. residency for many. 

The H1-B visa allows for skilled workers to work in the U.S. for 3 years, extendable by another 3. For those who will be sponsored by a U.S. based employer, can petition for a H1-B visa starting March 2021 and if selected, can begin working in the U.S. by October 2021.

Why Is 2021’s H1-B Lottery Called H1-B Lottery Season 2022?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services maintains a fiscal calendar that starts in October and ends in September. Therefore, in order to join work in the U.S. on October 1, 2021 the applicant would have to qualify and successfully get selected in the H1-B 2022 lottery cap.

What Is The Process & Timelines For The H1-B Lottery Cap 2022?

USCIS is yet to officially announce the dates for the different requirements but from what we know from last year’s dateline, we can expect the following:

  1. Registering H1-B Employer Account Online: This is a one-time activity. If your employer already has an account with USCIS from last time, they don’t have to create another account. If not, we expect this to begin by the last week of February.
  2. H1B Registration Submission: Beginning March 9, 2021, and for the next 3 weeks, until March 25, 2021 USCIS will accept registrations for individual applicants.
  3. Random Lottery Selection: On March 31, 2021, USCIS conducts random lottery from the registrations submitted for regular cap quota of 65,000 and master’s quota of 20,000.
  4. Lottery Results: Starting March 31, 2021, USCIS will notify the applicants who were selected lottery. This is done through their individual accounts.
  5. File Completed H1-B Petition: Starting April 1, 2021, and for the next 90-days, selected H1-B applicants will submit formal and detailed H1-B petitions with requisite fees, LCA and all supporting documents. Given that these dates have now been finalized but USCIS, sponsoring employers are advised to have the paperwork completed and submitted at the earliest possible date.
  6. Premium Processing: For $2,500, petitioners can get their petition adjudicated in 14 business days.
  7. For Those Not Selected: Those not selected, are kept in a reserve pool and notified if the cap is not met in the first round of the lottery.

Important To Know: Wage Based H1-B Selection

President Biden has pushed the Wage Based Selection of H1-B Applicants to December 31, 2021. While this process proposes to give the work visa to the highest salary, President Biden has confirmed that it won’t be implemented in this year’s H1-B lottery. This year’s H1-B lottery cap is expected to begin by February 24, 2021.

H1-B Filing Fees in 2021

USCIS had proposed a major hike in all filing fees, but it was shelved and the following fees structure remains – 

H1B Fee – Paid TowardsAmount in USD
Online Registration Fees$10
 Base Filing Fees$460
AICWA Fee (dependent upon how many employees in the organization)$750/ $1,500
Fraud Prevention Fee$500
Public Law Fee (dependent upon if over 50% employees need H1-B sponsorship)$4,000
Premium Processing Fees$2,500
Immigration Attorney Fee (if outsourced)Between $500 and  $3000 to $3000

Electronic Registration

Initiated last year, USCIS implemented an electronic registration process for the H1-B 2021 season. Sponsoring employers have to register their applicants using an online portal. This requires a one-time account to be created under the employer’s name and a $10 registration fees per applicant.

Requirements For Online Registration For H1-B Visa Cap 2022

The following details are asked about the H1-B applicant including eligibility and qualification on the online portal:

  • Name, as noted on the Passport (or any other legal ID document)
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender 
  • Country of Birth + Citizenship
  • Passport Number
  • Verify eligibility for Masters cap

Results of the Electronic Registration of The H1-B 2022 Lottery-cap

  • USCIS will review the registered applicants and select the ones that will be eligible to file a formal and complete H-1B cap-subject petition. 
  • These registered employers will be notified of their candidate’s selection through their USCIS accounts created at the start of the process. 
  • The primary beneficiaries will also be notified through their legal representatives either through email or text messages.
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