US Immigration & Nationality Law in Extraordinary Times
On January 28, 2022, USCIS announced that FY 2023 H1B cap registrations will open at noon ET on March 1, 2022 and close at noon ET on March 18, 2022. All cap registrations must be submitted online during this period for the "H1B lottery".
US Employers must use their existing USCIS accounts to register for the lottery. New US Employers must register their accounts beginning February 21, 2022.
USCIS will conduct the FY 2023 H-1B cap selection (lottery) and notify registered employers of selected entries by March 31, 2022.
If selected, US employers must submit their petitions to USCIS for a 90 day period beginning April 1, 2022 and no later than June 30, 2022. See, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/fy-2023-h-1b-cap-initial-registration-period-opens-on-march-1
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in "specialty occupations". A specialty occupation is typically one that requires at least a bachelor's degree or higher to perform the job. The duration of stay is three years, renewable to six years, and possibly longer. This work visa is popular in STEM fields and others which require a high level of professional skill and knowledge. There are 60,000 visas available under the regular cap and an additional 20,000 visas available for those who have Master's degrees or higher from an accredited US institution of higher education in the US.
The H1B program is a highly regulated visa program. The offered wage must comply with the prevailing wage and the terms of conditions of employment must be vetted by the US Department of Labor, and ultimately USCIS. The program affords US employers, especially in IT and STEM fields, to maintain their competitiveness by attracting and retaining top talent.
Cooper Immigration Law PLLC can assist US employers with the account registration process, closely monitor the registration process and prepare and file the H1B petition, once the candidate has been selected for the H1B lottery. To begin, plese complete the following checklists:
Foreign National Employee:
On January 21, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced 22 new & emerging fields of study to be included in the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The program permits F-1 students earning Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorates in certain STEM fields to remain in the United States for up to 36 months to complete Optional Practical Training after earning their degrees. The added fields are: bioenergy, general forestry, forest resources production and management, human-centered technology design, cloud computing, anthrozoology, climate science, earth systems science, economics and computer science, environmental geosciences, geobiology, geography and environmental studies, mathematical economics, mathematics and atmospheric and oceanic science, general data science, general data analytics, business analytics, data visualization, financial analytics, other data analytics, industrial and organizational psychology, and social sciences, research methodology, and quantitative methods.
Also on January 21, 2022, the White House announced other measures to attract and retain STEM talent to support U.S. economic growth and global technological competitiveness. These include updating the adjudication criteria and the types of acceptable evidence considered for O-1 visas and National Interest Waivers. CIL will continue to closely track updates and changes to these visa options.