On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received a sufficient number of H-1B registrations through its new electronic registration system needed to reach the annual cap, which includes registrations for both the 65,000 regular cap, as well as the 20,000 allotted US advanced degree exemption (or “master’s cap”).
USCIS states in its announcement that the lottery selection process is complete and that the Agency has notified all prospective petitioners if their registrations have been selected, meaning employers are eligible to file a FY2022 H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of the employees for whom selection notices have been assigned.
As part of the notification process, USCIS will update employers’ online accounts to show one of the following statuses for each registered candidate:
- Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will change to “Selected,” “Not Selected,” or “Denied.”
- Selected: Selected to file an FY2022 H-1B cap-subject petition, meaning that employers will be able to proceed with preparing and submitting a petition on behalf of that candidate.
- Denied: This status will show if a duplicate registration was submitted by the same employer for the same candidate, or if a payment method was declined and not reconciled. USCIS states that if a registration was denied as a duplicate, all registrations submitted for the candidate for FY2022 are invalid.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: This will display for cases where the registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or was otherwise invalid.
Starting April 1, 2021, employers will be able to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to USCIS for those with selection notices. Employers will be given a 90-day filing period, as indicated on the USCIS selection notice, to submit the completed H-1B cap-subject petition.
The length of time USCIS will take to adjudicate the selected petitions that are submitted by employers within the 90-day filing period is not certain for those cases submitted without Premium Processing. As of March 30, 2021, Premium Processing is still available for H-1B cap-subject petitions, and USCIS will be expected to adjudicate those petitions filed with Premium Processing within 15 days of receipt of the H-1B petition.
Mayer Brown will continue to provide updates on the H-1B Cap as additional information becomes available from USCIS.