After this year’s H-1B registration and subsequent lottery, many immigration practitioners lamented the seemingly low selection rates for their client’s cases, especially compared to years past. Master’s cap cases, which generally carried around a 40% chance of selection, seemed particularly affected. Today’s announcement from USCIS sheds some light on these abysmal selection rates, as the agency confirmed that they received over 308,000 H-1B registrations this year!
The electronic registration process for H-1Bs was intended to make the H-1B lottery more streamlined and efficient, and the relative ease of the process (compared to the previous time consuming and expensive “season” of filing full H-1B petitions) seems to have made more employers more willing to potentially employ H-1B workers. FY2020 saw USCIS receive over 200,000 H-1B petitions; FY2021 (the first year of the electronic registration system) saw that number jump to over 274,000 registrations, and this year’s numbers of registrations increased still, despite the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. One can only imagine how many registrations will be submitted in subsequent years as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
Copied from USCIS:
FY 2022 H-1B Cap Registration Process Update
The H-1B cap electronic registration process was again well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system for FY 2022 (4.87 out of 5). We received 308,613 H-1B registrations during the initial registration period and selected 87,500 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations. The registrations were submitted by more than 37,000 prospective petitioners and roughly 48% of all registrations requested consideration under the advanced degree exemption.
Per regulation, USCIS utilizes historical data related to approvals, denials, revocations, and other relevant factors to calculate the number of registrations needed to meet the H-1B cap for a given fiscal year. Based on historical data, the initial projected number of registrations required to meet the numerical limitations for FY 2022 was less than the initial projected number of registrations required for FY 2021.
For FY 2021, we received 274,237 H-1B registrations and initially selected 106,100 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2021 numerical allocations. We conducted a second selection in August 2020 of an additional 18,315 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection. This resulted in a total of 124,415 selected registrations.
We continue to monitor petition filing rates and will determine, after the filing period closes, whether we will need to select additional registrations to reach the FY 2022 H-1B numerical allocations.
For more information about the H-1B program, visit our H-1B Specialty Occupations webpage.
**Copyright 2021 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.