Washington: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on June 28 conducted a second lottery for H1B visas to meet the annual quota for fiscal 2022.
In the first round of random selection, 87500 registrations were selected to fulfill the annual quota of 85000. As per the e-registration system, the employers have to submit the detailed visa applications for those selected, TOI reported.
However, due to the pandemic or some other reasons, several employers did not submit the applications.
In order to meet the annual quota, USCIS conducted the second lottery for H1B visas. The detailed visa applications can be filed from August 2 to November 3.
Last year too, the USCIS had conducted a second lottery for H1B visas. It is helpful to STEM-OPT students. As per Open Doors Report, in the year 2019-20, around 81 thousand students had opted for OPT program.
What is OPT program
Under the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT), international students from the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field (STEM) are allowed to gain three years of experience after their studies.
In many cases, their employers decide to sponsor them for H1B visa which is given based on the lottery system.
What is lottery for H1B visas?
H1B visa allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
The visa holders can stay in the US for three years. The duration of the stay can be extended to six years. However, getting a visa is not easy as applicants have to satisfy a set of conditions.
Unlike Canada where the applicant’s visa application is approved based on his/her score, in the US, if H1B visa applications exceed the annual visa cap, the lottery system will be followed. In the system, applications are picked randomly.