H-1B Registration Period for FY 2023 CAP-Subject H-1B Petitions Opens on March 1, 2022

FY 2023 H-1B cap season is quickly approaching, with the registration period opening at noon on March 1, 2022 and ending at noon on March 18, 2022. All H-1B registrations must be submitted online during this period to be counted in the H-1B lottery, and if selected, applicants have 90 days from April 1, 2022 to file their H-1B petitions with USCIS. The number of H-1B visas available this fiscal year remains 85,000 (with 65,000 regular H-1Bs and an additional 20,000 H-1Bs issued to graduates who have obtained a U.S. Master’s degree or higher). USCIS may conduct additional rounds of the random selection process, if needed, to reach the congressionally mandated cap. Contact your immigration counsel as soon as possible to identify H-1B cap needs.

New I-94 E and L-2 Classes of Admission

On January 31st, 2022, DHS began issuing I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Cards with new classes of admission for L-2 and E dependent spouses, recognizing that these spouses are employment authorized incident to their status. The new notation, an “S” following the L-2 or E statuses of the dependent spouses (e.g. L-2S and E-1S), indicates that the spouses are automatically authorized to work in the United States, without the need for an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”). Spouses who applied for L-2 or E extensions with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) after January 31, 2022 will also receive “S” designations on their Approval Notice I-94 Cards. Dependent L-2 and E spouses who are already in the U.S. will not have their I-94 Card retroactively updated to reflect this new designation, but must rely on their current EADs until their next re-entry into the U.S. or their next extension filing with USCIS. Contact your immigration counsel to discuss how these new changes may affect you and your I-9 processes.

Unvaccinated Traveler Restrictions

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the United States and worldwide, the DHS has updated its temporary restrictions for non-U.S. individuals traveling into the U.S. at land ports of entry and ferry terminals. The updated guidance requires all non-U.S. travelers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination and other relevant documents requested by CBP Officers during border inspections, whether they are traveling for essential or non-essential reasons. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and U.S. nationals are not subject to these new restrictions, and COVID-19 testing is not required for those entering the U.S. via land port of entry or ferry.