U.S. Immigration Updates- Week of February 28, 2022

Single Combined Payments on Certain H-1B or H-1B1 Form No Longer Accepted

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on February 25, 2022, that for all H-1B and H-1B1 petitions received on or after April 1, 2022, USCIS will no longer accept a single, combined fee payment when Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; or Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, is filed together with an H-1B or H-1B1 petition (Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker). Each of these forms received by USCIS on or after April 1 must have its own fee payment instrument or USCIS will reject the entire package. Only the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, may be combined with the fee for a concurrently filed Form I-129 requesting H-1B classification, USCIS said.

USCIS explained that it is transitioning to electronic processing of immigration benefit requests. As the agency completes this transition, it will be using multiple systems to receipt and process various types of immigration benefit requests. Because H-1B and H-1B1 petitions and related applications are not all processed in the same system, USCIS said it requires a separate payment instrument for each of these forms.

Source: ABIL Newsletter, February 27, 2022

 

Statistics on H-1B Cap Registrations Released by USCIS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released statistics on the H-1B cap registration process. More than 37,000 prospective petitioners submitted registrations. Roughly 48 percent of all registrations requested consideration under the advanced degree exemption.

The initial projected number of registrations required to meet the numerical limitations for FY 2022 was lower than the initial projected number of registrations required for FY 2021. A reason for this may be that USCIS is cracking down on multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary. USCIS said that if it finds that a company worked with another entity to submit multiple registrations for the same beneficiary, which would violate the required employer attestation, USCIS will find that registration to be not properly submitted and may deny or revoke the petition.

USCIS also noted:

  • For FY 2021, USCIS received 274,237 H-1B registrations and initially selected 106,100 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2021 numerical allocations. USCIS conducted a second selection in August 2020 of an additional 18,315 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection. This resulted in a total of 124,415 selected registrations.
  • For FY 2022, USCIS received 308,613 H-1B registrations and initially selected 87,500 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations. On July 29, 2021, USCIS announced that it conducted a second selection of an additional 27,717 registrations. This resulted in a total of 115,217 selected registrations. The petition filing period based on registrations selected on July 28 began on August 2 and closed on November 3. On November 19, 2021, USCIS announced that it conducted a third selection of an additional 16,753 registrations. This resulted in a total of 131,970 selected registrations. The petition filing period based on registrations selected on November 19 began on November 22, 2021 and closed on February 23, 2022.

USCIS said that those with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details about when and where to file.

Source: ABIL Newsletter, February 27, 2022

Details: H-1B Electronic Registration Process, USCIS, updated Feb. 23, 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-electronic-registration-process

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