On February 28, 2022, almost a full year since the H-1B CAP lottery took place for fiscal year (“FY”) 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had reached the congressionally mandated 85,000 H-1B visa cap. Individuals who were not selected for the FY 2022 cap season will now have their “non-selection” status indicated on their USCIS online accounts. For FY 2022, USCIS conducted three lotteries after receiving 308,613 H-1B registrations, and announced their third and final selection of registrations in November 2021.
The announcement comes just as the H-1B cap season commences for FY 2023 with the opening of the H-1B registration period on March 1, 2022. Please contact immigration counsel immediately to discuss any cap needs and continue to monitor Immigration Insights for the latest updates on H-1B cap season for FY 2023.
USCIS Decouples Employment Authorization Document and Advance Parole (“EAD/AP”) Cards
USCIS has recently notified the American Immigration Lawyers Association that EAD/AP cards, which were previously issued as a “combo” card, will no longer include the advance parole authorization notation. Advance Parole (“AP”) allows certain noncitizens to travel back into the U.S. without applying for a visa and was commonly used by individuals with pending applications to register permanent residence or adjust status. USCIS is now prioritizing adjudication of Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) in an attempt to reduce backlogs in processing times for those seeking employment authorization, and Advance Paroles will be processed separately. Updates will be provided as USCIS provides additional information and guidance regarding this new procedural change.