H-1B Registration Period for FY2022 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Opens On March 9

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the initial registration period for FY2022 H‐1B cap-subject petitions will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25. USCIS intends to notify registrants by March 31st whether their H-1B registration was selected, and those that were selected will be able to file their H-1B petition with USCIS during a 90-day filing window.

USCIS also announced that it is delaying the effective date of the H-1B Selection Process final rule until December 31, 2021. This means that USCIS will apply the regulations currently in place (random selection) to the initial registration period for the FY2022 registration process. The H-1B Selection Process final rule will replace the current random H-1B selection process with a new system requiring selection of cap-H-1Bs based on the highest prevailing wage offered. USCIS explained that the rule was being delayed “because USCIS will not have adequate time to complete system development, thoroughly test the modifications, train staff, and conduct public outreach needed to ensure an effective and orderly implementation of the H-1B Selection Final Rule by the time the initial registration period will be open for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap season.” Consult with immigration counsel to begin planning for the H-1B registration period.

Biden Administration Lifts Ban On New Green Cards

President Biden has lifted the Trump administration’s ban which prevented foreign nationals from entering the U.S. using newly approved Green Cards. The ban was first enacted by the Trump Administration in April 2020, with an explanation that the ban would protect U.S. workers who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In lifting the ban, President Biden said the ban “harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world.”

The Biden administration, however, has not yet taken any action on the Trump administration’s ban on nonimmigrant visas. The nonimmigrant visa ban limits U.S. entry of nonimmigrant workers and trainees utilizing newly approved H-1B, H-2B, L, and J visas. When asked about the nonimmigrant visa ban, the Biden administration indicated it is still undecided on whether to end that ban. It is currently set to expire on March 31st, unless President Biden issues a new proclamation to extend it.