Employers wishing to sponsor H-1B work visas for foreign nationals should begin preparing now for the upcoming H‑1B lottery period set for March 1‑18, 2022.
H-1Bs can be a useful tool for employers in hiring for hard-to-fill professional positions requiring at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology, engineering, science and many other fields. In particular, employers who currently employ recent university graduates pursuant to Optional Practical Training should consider entering the H‑1B lottery for those foreign national employees. H‑1Bs are also available for foreign nationals currently residing outside the United States.
Employers this year can once again enter the H‑1B lottery without submitting complete petition packages, making lottery registration less costly and time consuming. Demand is again expected to greatly exceed supply due to ongoing labor shortages and the low cost involved in entering the new lottery system, which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) first implemented in 2020.
During last year’s H‑1B lottery season, employers entered more than 300,000 cases into the lottery for a chance to obtain one or more of the 85,000 H‑1Bs available. Foreign nationals holding a U.S. master’s degree face better odds in the lottery because 20,000 of the available H‑1Bs are set aside for those individuals. Only employers with entries selected in the lottery will be required to prepare and submit full H-1B petitions for processing by USCIS. Employers seeking H‑1B visas this year should contact us soon to begin preparation for the lottery period.
If you would like to discuss the H‑1B option or other employer-sponsored visa options, please contact any member of Warner’s Immigration Practice Group.