By: Tamara Molino | CRP, GMS

December 17, 2020

The FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process requires thorough review and careful planning to ensure success. Foreign national talent with exceptional skills and experience are highly coveted for key positions by many prospective US employers. Specific jobs often filled by employees on H-1B visa sponsorship include information technology specialists, engineers, and scientists.

What are the Changes for the FY 2022 H-1B Visa Lottery?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to follow several of the new processes put in place for the most recent FY 2021 lottery. However, USCIS has not announced the date when the official process will open. For FY 2021, prospective petitioners could create accounts starting on February 24, 2020. A similar pre-petition account creation date is likely to be communicated for this year’s process.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also proposed a change in how USCIS selects registrations for filing of cap-subject H-1B petitions. The change will result in:

  1. USCIS first selecting registrations based on the highest prevailing wage level
  2. Wage level ranking would apply to the regular cap
  3. The ranking would also apply to the advanced degree exemption

This proposed change follows a previous Department of Labor (DOL) restructuring of the prevailing wage system for foreign national talent. The DOL instituted an Interim Final Rule (IFR) called “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” The DOL wage system restructuring was meant to reduce program abuses that appeared to undermine wages and opportunities for US workers. However, later rulings have resulted in legal challenges and court orders to set aside the DOL’s IRF. The DOL noted it is taking steps to comply with court orders.

An additional factor that may result in changes is the inauguration of the next US President on January 20, 2021. With a new administration, a new focus on immigration is likely to change processes for the FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process. However, changes will take time. Therefore, the upcoming year’s process may still follow a similar pattern as last year’s process.

Review of the Most Recently Defined H-1B Visa Lottery Processes

It is difficult to determine just how many changes there might be to the FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process from the January 20 inauguration date to the lottery’s potential start date. However, a review of the FY 2021 H-1B visa lottery process will provide some insight into the most recently defined requirements.

Starting in FY 2021, petitioners had to submit an electronic registration. USCIS noted the registration should make visa processing more streamlined. It should also reduce excess paperwork and costs. Petitioners pay a registration fee and then only pay the visa lottery fee if the process successfully chooses their registration for processing.

Registration Expected for the FY 2022 H-1B Visa Lottery Process

The FY 2021 H-1B electronic registration process followed these simple steps:

  • Petitioners could create accounts starting on February 24
  • Petitioners input limited company data and information about the foreign national talent into the online registration portal
  • Registration fee of $10 applies to each entry
  • USCIS opened the initial registration period on March 1
  • A random selection process for H-1B visas on the registrations then chooses entries eligible to submit petitions
  • Fee is $10 and applies to all registrations submitted during the initial and future periods

Lottery Expected for the FY 2022 H-1B Visa Lottery Process

The FY 2021 H-1B visa lottery process followed this pattern:

  1. The first lottery included all petitions and was subject to the 65,000 cap limit
  2. Following the first lottery, the rest of the petitions are then eligible for the 20,000 visas reserved for applicants with advanced degrees from US educational institutions

DHS noted the lottery process was expected to actually increase the number of H-1B visa holders with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for further processing.

What Should Employers do about the FY 2022 H-1B Visa Lottery?

HR teams should fully prepare in order to submit electronic registrations on the date USCIS opens the portal. They should also review hiring plans and identify all necessary documentation. As a result, this will help ensure both the registration process and the petitioner process move along as quickly as possible. Employers should work with a Relocation Management Company (RMC) that has extensive experience in visa processing. RMCs will have knowledge and expertise that will help ensure a smooth FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process. As a result, petitioners will have a much greater likelihood of success in hiring skilled foreign national talent.

Where Should Employers Begin?

Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts can help your company with the FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process. Our team’s knowledge and access to visa and immigration resources leads the relocation industry. We have helped thousands of companies understand how to successfully navigate the H-1B visa lottery process and mitigate talent shortages with global relocation.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients prepare for the H-1B visa lottery. Our team can help your company understand how to prepare, register, and submit petitions in the FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery for the greatest chance of successful results.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to discuss your FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery plans, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides over 14 years of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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