H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2022

On February 28, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2022, which ends September 30, 2022.

USCIS said it has completed sending non-selection notices to registrants’ online accounts. The agency will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, including petitions “filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number.” USCIS said it will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in additional H-1B positions.

USCIS began its registration system for cap-subject H-1Bs for fiscal year 2023 on March 1.

Source: ABIL Newsletter, March 6, 2022

  • USCIS alert: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-reaches-fiscal-year-2022-h-1b-cap


USCIS to Expand Credit Card Pilot Program

Credit card payments are now being accepted at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, for all forms except Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for H-1B and H-2A petitions.

USCIS said it will evaluate the results of the pilot program when it concludes, which previously was implemented at the Nebraska, Texas, Vermont, and California service centers. USCIS did not indicate when the pilot program would end.

Source: ABIL Newsletter, March 6, 2022

  • USCIS alert, Mar. 2, 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-expands-credit-card-payment-pilot-program-to-all-service-centers · USCIS “Pay With a Credit Card” page, https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-fees/pay-with-a-credit-card


Federal Judge Upholds H-1B Online Registration System

A D.C. federal judge backed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ policy creating an online registration system for the H-1B specialty occupation visa lottery, saying the agency had sufficiently addressed warnings that employers could game the process.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden rebuffed hundreds of H-1B applicants’ claims that USCIS violated the Administrative Procedure Act by ignoring criticism of the new system, which was first used for the fiscal year 2021 draw. The agency had devoted multiple pages of the final rule explaining how it would curb potential abuse, including vows to screen the virtual registration system for fake registrations, he said Tuesday.

Source: Alyssa Aquino, Law360¸ March 2, 2022:

  • https://www.law360.com/immigration/articles/1469828/dc-judge-backs-h-1b-lottery-s-online-registration-system


New Report Shows International Students Choosing Canadian Over U.S. Higher Education

The number of international students enrolled at U.S. universities dropped prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but enrollment soared at Canadian colleges and universities. A new analysis finds Indian graduate students in science and engineering have been the most likely to choose Canada over the United States because Canada makes it much easier to work in temporary status and gain permanent residence. The findings carry serious ramifications for the future competitiveness of U.S. companies and American universities.

“International student enrollment at U.S. universities declined 7.2% between the 2016-17 and 2019-20 academic years, before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according a new analysis from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). “At the same time, international student enrollment at Canadian colleges and universities increased 52% between the 2016-17 and 2019-20 academic years, illustrating the increasing attractiveness of Canadian schools due to more friendly immigration laws in Canada, particularly rules enabling international students in Canada to gain temporary work visas and permanent residence.”

The pandemic lowered U.S. enrollment further. The enrollment of international students at U.S. universities dropped 22.7% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. Canada has not yet released comparable 2020-21 data, but NFAP found other indicators that Canada also experienced lower enrollment in 2020-21 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The number of international students from India studying at Canadian colleges and universities increased 182% between 2016 and 2019 while at the same time, the enrollment of Indian students in master’s level science and engineering programs at U.S. universities fell almost 40%,” according to the NFAP analysis. “Indian student enrollment at Canadian colleges and universities increased nearly 300% between the 2015-16 and 2019-20 academic years.”

Source: Stuart Anderson, Forbes, March 3, 2022:

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2022/03/03/us-international-student-enrollment-dropped-as-canadas-soared/?sh=57b2ae11776e
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