H-1B Video: What to Expect from the FY 2022 H-1B Lottery

The FY 2022 H-1B Cap Lottery is open through March 25 at noon EST. FordMurray founding partner Russell Ford outlines what you need to know about the electronic registration process, and special considerations for this year. This video is part of a series dedicated to answering employers’ questions on the H-1B process.

Questions? Employers can request a complimentary consultation here.

I’m Russell Ford, founding partner of FordMurray, a National Immigration Law Firm based here in Portland, Maine, and we’re answering some common questions that come up in immigration sponsorship for employers.

Today’s topic is really focused on the H-1B registration period for the cap process. As a reminder, the H-1B cap is the annual process under the government’s fiscal year where employers enter into a lottery to have their H-1B employees selected. We had a previous video that focused on who is subject to the cap. I encourage you to check that out if you have questions about whether your employee is or is not subject to the cap.

Today, we’re focused more on what is the registration process this year, under fiscal year 2022. The H-1B registration process opens on March 9 at 12pm Eastern Time, where employers can go to the government portal website, and they can register their company, the employee and the position for an H-1B ticket and with that ticket and registration, that employee is now in the H-1B lottery. From March 9 until March 25 at noon, when the government shuts down the website, employers can go in register and buy a ticket for the H-1B lottery. After March 25, the government shuts down the system. And then they actually do the random selection process from March 25 until March 31, at which point employers who are selected start to get notified. And with that notification, an employer can sponsor their employee for the H-1B.

Now in previous years, the lottery generally ran with employers getting about a 45 to 47% chance of being selected. One of the things with this year’s registration period that has us I guess, optimistic in one sense, but worried in another. As we enter into this registration, we’ve been in a down economy, the pandemic has caused higher unemployment. That’s good for employers in the sense of numbers are expected to be lower in this year’s registration, meaning employers will have a better chance of having their employees selected. So if you have candidates who are subject to the Cap, and you know you can sponsor them this year, but you could also sponsor them next year or the following year, it might be in your interest to start this year where the numbers are expected to be lower chances are expected to be higher, and it does provide a better opportunity for the employee and the employer in terms of that random selection.

Another thing as we enter this registration is the optimism surrounding the current administration’s changes to the immigration process, where they are creating more positive activity around H-1B adjudications – it’s not expected to be as difficult with some positions and some filings to avoid an RFE or to avoid a difficult adjudication process.

As we move into more predictability, more sustainability, as we move through this administration’s positive changes in immigration, now is a good time for employers to be in the process and to think about that H-1B cap registration. As a reminder, the H-1B registration period opens March 9 at 12 pm. Eastern time, it’s quickly approaching. It’s only open until March 25 at noon, Eastern time. It’s a short window. So if you have questions, concerns, if you have any issues with the registration process, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation or you shoot us an email, give us a call. We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.