Every year, the US issues 65,000 new H-1B visas, with another 20,000 reserved for US Masters’ degree holders. Indians have been among the biggest beneficiaries of this visa program, receiving about 70% of the new visas issued each year. In the last few years, the USCIS has had to conduct multiple lotteries to allocate all the visas as it did not receive enough final applications following the initial selection. This was attributed to a mix of factors, including reduced travel and mobility on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Economictimes, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday said that the initial registrations for the H-1B visas would start on March 1 and remain open till March 18, 2022, for the fiscal year starting October 2022. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit their registrations using our online H-1B registration system, it said in a press release.
USCIS will assign a confirmation number to each registration submitted for the FY 2023 H-1B cap, which can be used to track registrations. Under the new system the agency now follows, applicants will register electronically and pay a $10 registration fee. “If we receive enough registrations by March 18, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. We intend to notify account holders by March 31,” it said in a statement.
Amazon had the most approved H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2021 with 6,182 approvals, followed by Infosys (5,256), TCS (3,063), Wipro (2,121) Cognizant (1,481), Google (1,453), IBM (1,402), HCL America (1,299) and Microsoft (1,240). The overall rate of visa denials dropped to 4% in FY2021, following a change in how USCIS adjudicates applications for workers employed at third-party sites.