1. What is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B Visa program allows U.S. employers to hire skilled foreign professionals in specialty occupations. This non-immigrant visa enables professionals to contribute their expertise to the American job market temporarily.
2. What is the H-1B Cap?
The H-1B program operates within a predetermined numerical limit, referred to as the “H-1B Cap.” For the fiscal year 2022, the regular H-1B Cap is set at 65,000. An additional 20,000 visas are allocated for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This cap delineates the maximum number of H-1B visas that can be issued annually.
3. What is the H-1B Registration?
Prospective H-1B beneficiaries undergo a preliminary registration process via the USCIS H-1B Registration System. The H-1B registration period typically opens on March 1st and closes on March 20th of each year, ahead of the fiscal year for which the H-1B visas are sought. For instance, if you are applying for the fiscal year 2023, the registration period would open in March 2022
4. What is the H-1B Lottery?
Given the immense demand for H-1B visas, the cap is often exceeded within a matter of days after the application window opens on April 1st each year. When the number of applications surpasses the available visas, a random selection process, known as the H-1B Lottery, comes into play.
During the H-1B Lottery, all registrations received within the designated filing period are assigned unique identification numbers. The USCIS then conducts two separate lotteries:
Regular Cap Lottery: In this lottery, the 65,000 standard cap petitions are selected.
Master’s Cap Lottery: If the master’s cap is exceeded, the remaining petitions from this pool are placed into the regular cap lottery.
5. H-1B Application Process
* Employer Sponsorship: The sponsorship trajectory commences with an eligible U.S. employer championing your H-1B application.
* Specialty Occupation: Your engagement pivots on the requisition of specialized knowledge intertwined with relevant qualifications.
* Labor Condition Application (LCA): The prospective employer presents an LCA to the Department of Labor, encapsulating the parameters of employment.
* Form I-129 Petition: A pivotal juncture unfolds as the employer lodges Form I-129 with USCIS, inclusive of all requisite documentation.