Missed out on Being Selected for the H1B Pre-Registration? Not to Worry, there is Still Hope and Options to Consider!
Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
The H1B Pre-registration period for fiscal year 2022 has ended and those who were selected have been notified. That is roughly 57,500 general pool applicants and an additional 20,000 for US Master’s Cap case. So we have recently received several inquiries from people who have been devasted to find out that they were not picked in the lottery. I am sorry to hear that you were not picked, but as long as the matter was not rejected or denied then your still in the race and can be selected in round 2 or round 3 picks.
The pre-registration process is fairly new, 2nd year to be precise, and now we have a new Administration, so things could change so please do keep that in mind.
Typically, this is how it works:
- First round pre-registration candidates are randomly selected from all the Quotas. Those who are picked will have 90 days to file their H1B – earliest date they can start to file would be April 1st 2021.
- Anyone who is not selected, outright rejected, or denied because of duplicate filings, will be kept as “submitted” until a short bit after 90 days.
- Within and up to that 90 day period, some H1B petitions will be filed and denied, and some will be filed and withdrawn, and still some will just never be filed within the 90 days. So, all the leftover visas that were not positively used will be utilized for 2nd round picks.
- Typically, 2nd round picks will happen around the 2nd or 3rd week of July, after USCIS has had a chance to tally all the visas left and available. And then a random selection will occur again.
- After all the visas available are used to pick random folks for round 2, those people will have 90 days to file and everyone else will remain as “submitted”.
- Sometime around October/November round 3 will begin after the 90 days for round two and also to account for any additional denials starting from Round 1.
- That is basically the outline and breakdown. It gives the government and the Employers and Employee Candidates to maximize the chance and opportunity for usage of the full H1B visas allotted in any given fiscal year, which was not the case in previous years.
Having said that, I think it worthwhile to consider options too. Assuming that the candidate is in the United States. How long does the Foreign National’s current visa/OPT continue until? A few options may be: 1) Return to the Home Country; 2) File for a change of status to visitor visa; or 3) Take on another course or degree to maintain the F1 visa he/she has. There are some long term options that could be considered if the equities are correct such as: preparing for an L1A intracompany transfer, considering the great options available in Canada and the EB-5 investment based green card option just to state a few thoughts.
But rest assured, there are options available and just because you were not picked yet in the H1B lottery does not mean you are 100% out for the fiscal year selection. If you or a loved one have any questions at all, please reach out to a knowledgeable Immigration Professional!