If you plan to work in US on H1B visa in year 2021 as a new applicant, you need to submit H1B Registration and then file H1B petition with USCIS for Fiscal Year 2022 season. In this article, we cover all the aspects of H1B visa for fiscal year 2022 season like lottery dates, registration process, fees, new rules, and latest news. We will continue to update this article as there are new updates. If you are looking for previous H1B season info, read H1B Visa 2021 – FAQs
Background of H1B Visa, Fiscal Year 2022 Season
H1B Visa category was created by Congress to employ high skilled professionals in US by companies with presence in US. H1B visa can be applied on behalf of any applicant with relevant skills & at least a bachelors degree to work in US. As the demand for H1B visa is very high, USCIS employs H1B lottery to select applicants that meet the annual quota cap.
H1B fiscal year 2022 season is for employers planning to hire H1B workers to work in US starting from October 1st, 2021. USCIS fiscal year 2022 starts from October 1st, 2021, hence called FY 2022 season. We look at all the details related to FY 2022 season in the next sections.
If this is your first time filing H1B petition, you need to understand basic H1B terminology. We suggest you read H1B Visa Basics – FAQs like Requirements, Quota, LCA, etc.
Let’s start with basics and look at how many H1B visas are available for FY 2022.
H1B Visa Quota FY 2022 – Masters vs Regular Cap
There are two categories under the H1B visa : one is regular quota, second is master’s quota. US Congress has set a limit of 85,000 on number of H1B Visas that can be issued per year. That limit is called as ‘H1B quota cap’. As of today, below are the annual quota caps set for each of them and they apply to H1B fiscal year 2022 as well.
- H1B Regular Quota: 65,000 visas
- H1B Master’s Quota : 20,000 visas ( only US Masters eligible)
One important thing to note is that there are about 6,800 visas that are set aside for the citizens of Singapore and Chile as part of their Free Trade Agreement. These 6,800 are called as categorized as H1B1. So, technically the total count is less than 85,000 per year for H1B quota. But, in general, only few hundred are consumed by the Singapore and Chile countries. To understand more, you can read What is H1B Cap? Regular vs Masters Quota, H1B1
There were some attempts done in the past to increase the H1B Cap for regular quota to 110,00 and master’s quota to 25,000 under Obama administration, but nothing was passed by US Congress. For more info and history, read H1B Visa Total Cap by Year from FY 1990 to 2022
H1B 2022 Lottery Predictions
H1B visa is one of the most sought visas to work in US. In recent years, there are more H1B applications received by USCIS than the required number of 85,000 per year. To address situations of high demand, USCIS introduced the concept of random selection, aka as H1B Visa Lottery. In this H1B lottery process, USCIS usually selects the required number of applications to meet the 85,000 quota. DHS is planning to make changes to the general rules of lottery, we will look at that in later sections.
Now, as we look at H1B cap reach dates from FY 2004 until 2021, we can see that there was H1B Lottery for the last consecutive 8 years. In the most recent FY 2021 year, there were 275,000 registrations submitted for H1B lottery. Looking at the trend, we do not expect the demand to reduce to avoid a lottery situation.
We expect that there would be H1B Lottery situation for FY 2022 year as well based on historical data & demand patterns. This is is a difficult year with pandemic and hard to predict the exact H1B registrations filed in lottery. Nevertheless, we have done analysis and estimate that we may have anywhere from 150,000 to 170,000 registrations file for FY 2022 season. Read H1B Lottery 2022 Predictions – Analysis
H1B 2022 Registration Process for Lottery
In the past, employers had to send entire H1B package with fee, H1B LCA, supporting documents to be eligible for H1B lottery. It was a huge effort, time & money investment for employers and USCIS to handle this.
To save time and effort for everyone, starting from H1B 2021 season, USCIS implemented registration process. Fiscal year 2021 was the first season they successfully implemented and rolled out the H1B registration process. In the new process, employers do not send the H1B Package, they submit H1B registrations for their applicants using an online system.
H1B Registration fee is $10 USD per applicant, to be paid by employer. H1B Sponsors/ Employers need to register the applicant, they plan to file H1B for, by filling out basic information related to the applicant. Below are the details that they need to submit for each H1B applicant. They do not need to submit any other documents or anything as such.
- Legal Name of the H1B applicant – First, Middle and Family Name
- Gender of the applicant
- Option to select, if the applicant is eligible for US Masters H1B Quota
- Date of Birth
- Country of Birth
- Country of Citizenship
- Passport Number ( There is option to check, if there is no passport number too )
To understand more, you can read H1B Registration Tool – Screenshots, Flow
Below image outlines the steps in H1B registration process. To know more, read H1B Registration Process, Steps, Lottery Order
Below images outlines how the H1B Lottery would work in the H1B electronic registration system.
Now that you have an idea on the registration process and H1B lottery, let’s look at the change that DHS is planning for lottery process.
H1B Lottery based on Wage Levels – Delayed
The current process is random selection and there is no preference given to anyone. In the proposed new lottery process, they want to select H1B registrations based on the wage levels of H1B applicant. The goal is to hire individuals with better skills. DHS believes that better skilled H1B workers are paid higher wages and in higher wage levels. If you are new to the H1B Wage Levels, you should read What are H1B Wage Levels, How does it work
As per the proposed H1B lottery selection process, they will sort the H1B registrations in descending order from Wage Level IV, followed by Level III, Level II and Level I. They will pick the H1B registrations of Level IV, followed by Level III, then Level II and lastly Level I to meet the H1B quota cap of 85,000.
DHS published the final rule related to the above described change in lottery selection process on Jan 8th, 2021. It was set to be effective from March 9, 2021. But, after Biden administration took office, they delayed the effective date to December 31, 2021 and clarified that it will not be applicable for FY 2022 Season. They will follow standard registration and random selection based lottery for upcoming H1B 2022 season.
For latest update & details on final rule, read article H1B Lottery based on Wage Levels – Final Rule – FAQs
H1B 2022 Dates for Registration, Lottery, Results
In the past, when USCIS was accepting the physical H1B application package, H1B season used to start on April 1st. But, since the introduction of registration process, the dates have changed to handle the new online process and lottery. USCIS announced the dates for FY 2022 on H1B Electronic Registration Process on February 5th, 2021. Below are the dates
- H1B Employer Account Registration : They have said employer can register for accounts soon. So, anytime in late February employers should be able to register accounts. There is no specific date given for the registration of accounts only. Last year, it was Feb 24th, 2021. Starting from this day, employers can create new accounts on USCIS website to submit the H1B registrations during the registrations filing window.
- H1B Registrations Submission Period : March 9th, 2021 through March 25th, 2021. During this window, employers can submit registrations for the applicants, that they plan to sponsor H1B visa, if they would be selected in lottery.
- H1B Registration Selection Results : Lottery results will be given for selection by March 31st, 2021. Whoever are selected would be electronically notified and they can download H1B Registration Selection Notice, that they would need to use for filing the H1B petition. There may be second round lottery depending on the demand and non-submissions of applications by selected employers.
- H1B Cap Subject Application Filing Dates : For selected applicants, they can file from April 1st, 2021 until June 30, 2021. If you get selected in H1B registration lottery, you would get 90 days starting from April 1st, to submit the entire H1B Package to USCIS with required fee, LCA, and supporting documents.
H1B Visa FY 2022 Timelines – End to End
The timelines for H1B visa 2022 season starts with filing of H1B registration and ends when the applicant starts working for the H1B sponsoring employer. Below is are the various steps with sequence of the step indicated by number along with timelines and dates indicated under each step.
H1B Visa Lottery Results – How will I know ?
After the H1B Registrations are submitted in the online H1B registration system, the submissions will be given a status called “Submitted” after submission. After the Lottery is conducted for the registrations, the status will change to “Selected”, if your H1B registration was picked in lottery. Employers will be notified electronically for any changes to the status of the registration. There will not be any physical forms sent for notification. If you are the applicant, you need to check with your employer to know the status of the H1B Lottery result.
Update : Many Users have started to get H1B 2022 Selection notices on March 27th, 2021 and they continue to trickle down. Read H1B 2022 Lottery Results out – Sample Selection Notice. Also, USCIS announced the press release confirming the same on March 30th. Read USCIS News – H1B 2022 Selection for Registrations Completed
Below are the various H1B Registration Statuses that are valid for FY 2022 season and what they mean for Lottery results & selection. See below screenshot on how it actually appears in the system as well.
- Submitted : The H1B registration would have this status after submission of the registration. If this status exists, it means that the registration is eligible for selection in lottery.
- Selected : The ‘selected’ status means that the applicant was selected in the H1B lottery. usually the employer would get electronic notification.
- Not Selected : If the lottery results are complete and no longer possible for lottery selection anymore, then the registration would have this status. Usually USCIS does this at the end of the fiscal year around February 2022.
- Denied : If multiple registrations were submitted for the same applicant during registration, then such applicants would see the status of “Denied” for their registrations.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment : The registrations would have this status of “Invalidated-failed payment” when the payment was decline or not valid for some reason.
H1B Visa 2022 Filing Fee
During the first step of registration, there is only a $10 fee for the employer. Once the registration is selected, then the employer needs to submit the complete H1B filing fee based on their status. Also, H1B visa petition filing involves two things, one is the fee your employer pays to USCIS, second is the fee that they may need to pay an Immigration attorney, if they do not have in-house immigration team.
The overall H1B fee can vary anywhere from $1,720 USD to $8,970 USD + the Immigration Attorney Fee. Below is a table of the summary of the H1B visa fee. For complete details on H1B fees, Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee – Who pays for What ?
|H1B Fee – Paid Towards||Amount in USD||Who Pay for it ?|
|H1B Registration Fee||$10||Employer|
|Base filing fee||$460||Employer|
|AICWA Fee||$750 or $1,500||Employer|
|Fraud prevent & detection fee||$500||Employer|
|Fee based on Public Law 114-113 ( if applicable)||$4,000||Employer|
|Premium processing fee (Optional)||$2,500||Employer or Applicant|
|Immigration Attorney Fee||Varies from $500 to $3000||Employer|
USCIS based filing fees was supposed to go up by $95 to be $555 from October 2020, but it was blocked by Court. As of now, there is no new update on the same and USCIS continues to accept previous fee schedule.
How to find H1B Visa 2022 Sponsors ?
Not every company sponsors H1B visa to work in US. If the current company that you work at does not sponsor H1B, it can be difficult to find a good sponsor. Due to the cost involved, delays and process overhead, many small companies stay away from filing H1B petitions. Depending on your situation, you may use the guidance below to find H1B sponsors.
- Find Jobs at Companies that sponsored H1Bs : The best option is to find jobs at Companies that sponsored H1B visas in the past. In this way, you know that, if you get a job, the company would take the effort to file your H1B. You can use H1B Database website like H1BGrader.com to find such companies or even find H1B Sponsors by Company Name, Job Title or City. They have H1B approvals analytics and grade to help you decide. You can browse Top 200 H1B Sponsoring Companies for FY 2021 list and consider to apply at those companies too.
- F1 Student in US, OPT holders: The best option for F1 students in school is to find an internship or co-op at an employer who can sponsor H1B visa and ask them to sponsor your H1B. You can continue to work on OPT once you graduate as well. If you are on OPT, make sure you work at an employer, who can sponsor H1B. If not, switch your employer to a H1B sponsor. You can use the above approach to find such companies.
- International Professionals : If you are outside of US, your best bet is to find an multi-national company ( MNC) and work through them to sponsor H1B visa. Many try the IT body shop route, but it is subject to lot of fraud and you need to be careful. Many rules related to H1B are enforced more with Trump Administration now and you need to be careful. Read comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article to get an idea and beware of such consulting companies to avoid fraud.
- Important Note : RedBu2US as an Organization does NOT provide any H1B sponsorship services or charge anyone using professional services fee. If anyone approaches you by saying RedBus2US name, it is pure FRAUD…beware !
You may also read COMPELTE Guide on How to Find H1B Visa Sponsors
H1B FY 2022 Processing Times – Regular vs Premium
During H1B registration step, there is only one type of processing and there is no choice for employers. But, after the registration process is done, there are two modes of filing with varying processing times. If you are selected in H1B lottery, you can file your H1B petition in regular processing or premium processing.
- Premium Processing : If filed in premium, you will get your decision in 15 calendar days and it costs you additional $2,500 USD.
- Regular Processing : If you file in Regular processing, there is no estimated SLA set for it. It can take anywhere from few weeks to few months. But, if you file in Premium processing, you get the result in 15 days.
To understand differences, read H1B Regular vs Premium Processing Timelines.
To handle the load, USCIS usually suspends premium processing for H1B cap subject petitions during the first few months like April, May. They did the same during FY 2021 season as well and opened up premium processing starting from June 22nd, 2020. We are yet to hear the official update on this, but it is likely that there will be premium processing suspension.
H1B Visa 2022 Tracker
H1B Visa filing process with registrations and petitions can be lengthy and many unknowns with timelines. To help the community, we have partnered with VisaGrader to build an Anonymous H1B Visa Tracker for FY 2022. You can add your case information anonymously and see the overall patterns, processing times, etc. with crowdsourced data. Add anonymously using below button
Latest News Updates
Below is the list of latest news by date related to FY 2022 season. We will update here as we have new updates.
- May 10th, 2021 (Official ) : As of today, USCIS has not released any official count number for the FY 2022 Season. We do not know exactly how many H1B registrations were submitted.
- March 30th, 2021 (Official ) : USCIS released press note today confirming the H1B registration selection is complete for fiscal year 2022 for the initial round. Read USCIS News – H1B 2022 Initial Registration Selection Completed. They have not given the lottery numbers or registrations counts yet. We continue to wait on that part.
- March 27th, 2021 (Unofficial) : Many users started to get H1B Registration Selection notices today. It is informed in our social media groups. Check Sample H1B 2022 Registration Lottery Selection Notice, Details
- Feb 4th, 2021 (Official) : USCIS Announced dates for Fy 2022 Season related to h1B registration and lottery selection. Read complete details at H1B 2022 – Registration Dates, Lottery Dates, Updates
- Feb 4th, 2021 (Official) : DHS released an alert indicating that they are delaying the implementation of the H1B Lottery to be based on Wage Levels rule until December 2021. It will not be applicable to H1B FY 2022 Season. Read USCIS Alert
- Jan 8th, 2021: DHS published final rule on the H1B Wage Levels to be used for H1B Lottery in Federal Register on Jan 8th. It is set to be effective from March 9th, 2021. What is not clear is, if they would have enough time for the FY2022 season. We need to wait for USCIS update on this. Read USCIS Press Release
- November 2, 2020 (Official) : DHS publishes proposed rule to change the lottery selection process. They plan to use H1B Wage Levels for the same. Read Official Regulation on Federal Register
What are your views for the upcoming H1B 2022 season? Share your thoughts in comments below.
Yes, USCIS confirmed that there was lottery selection done for fiscal year FY 2022 season. Based on historical pattern, there is a lot of demand and we had H1B lottery for the last consecutive 8 years and this season was the same too.
It is hard to guess a precise number, but based on history, it can be anywhere around 150,000 to 275,000. This is the range based on history. Check H1B Cap Reach Counts History to see previous years numbers. We are waiting for USCIS official press release for the total registrations submitted.
H1B Applicant cannot check the H1B registration status online. There is no USCIS H1B case number assigned for registrations during the registration phased. Only your H1B sponsor or employer, who submitted the registration can check the H1B registration status online.
No, you do not need H1B LCA for registration process. You only need basic information about the applicant and passport details to file the registration. However, you will need LCA and other information when you file the entire petition after you are selected in lottery.
As per the H1B Registration Selection Notice from FY 2022 season, H1B petitions for the selected applicants can be filed anytime between April 1st, 2021 and June 30th, 2021. If you do not file file H1B petition during this window, your chance is lost as an applicant.
No, you cannot transfer H1B registration to any other employer after Lottery Selection. You can only file H1B petition with the employer who have submitted H1B registration. The FY 2022 Selection notice clearly tells that you cannot transfer your selected H1B registration.