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Second Lottery Selection for Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Registrations (Issue #131)

Second Lottery Selection for Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Registrations

From March 9th - 25th, 2021, the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) began accepting registration to file for H-1B for the fiscal year (FY) 2022, using the lottery system to select random registrations. Those selected registrants were able to file a petition for H-1B starting April 1st, 2021. However, the number of petitions for the FY 2022 was much lower than the cap for the given fiscal year, so a rare second lottery selection was conducted on July 28th, 2021. USCIS stated they "selected previously submitted electronic registrations using a random selection process." The registrations selected in the second round can file a petition for H-1B from Aug 2nd - November 3rd, 2021. This does not mean USCIS is accepting new registrations, but registrations that did not get selected for the first lottery selection will automatically have another chance.

The greatest reason for the low number of filed petitions for H-1B is the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic and its impact on corporate hiring strategies and allotted budget. FY 2021 had similar low filings due to business closures and quarantine mandates. Many international students also returned to their respective home countries, leading to fewer number of applicants seeking employment in the United States after graduation. Different requirements for filing a petition, changing complexities of documents, and the need to use a paper submission system (online filing not available) may be additional causes for the lower number this year.

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