H1B Visa Cap Increased: A US federal agency said that on Monday that it has received sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the Congressionally mandated cap for the H-1B visa for the fiscal year 2022. This comes a day before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will formally start accepting petitions for fiscal 2023 which will start from October 1, 2022 for the agency. The agency will accept applications from March 1 to March 18, 2022.
“We will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2022 H-1B cap,” said the agency in a statement.
The USCIS received 483,927 H-1B cap registrations this fiscal. This is an approximate 57% increase over the fiscal 2022 filing season. Of the total registrations, USCIS has selected 127,600, 26% of the total, to meet the H-1B quota. Various facets such as the sponsoring employer not going through with the actual filing process and the possibility of denial of the visas are factored in.
The government has selected a much higher number of registrations in the initial lottery than last year when it selected 87,500 registrations. The annual quota for H-1B cap visas is 85,000, including 20,000 visas that are allotted under the Masters’ cap for those having advanced degrees from US universities. For the fiscal 2023 filing season, registrations were submitted by more than 48,000 prospective petitioners, 31% of which were for the Master’s cap.
The current H-1B registration process was introduced for the first time in 2020. As part of this process, sponsoring employers first complete an online registration process which requires only basic information about the prospective worker. A lottery process is then carried out. H-1B cap visa applications have to be filed only in respect of the selected beneficiaries.
India accounted for three-fourths of H-1B visas issued in 2021, continuing its historical dominance on this highly sought after professional visa. The US approved 407,071 H-1B petitions in 2021 and 301,616 of them – almost 74.1% – were for Indian workers. They also accounted for 74.9% in 2020. Trailing India are China with 12.1%, Canada with 0.9%, South Korea also with 0.9% and Philippines with 0.7%.