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USCIS Accepts First Time H-1B Applications on March 1, 2022
Feb 18, 2022

USCIS Accepts First Time H-1B Applications on March 1, 2022

Topics: Immigration

US Citizenship & Immigration Service announced that it will accept initial applications for first time H-1B visa petitions from March 1, 2022 until March 18, 2022.  An H-1B visa allows an employer to employ a foreign national in a “specialty occupation” or a position that requires a bachelor’s degree in a particular field.  This visa is commonly used by employers who employ foreign national college or university students during their education period, while on a student visa that allows them to work, and wish to continue to employ them after graduation, beyond the expiration of their student status.

The Immigration and Nationality Act limits the number of initial H-1 visas that are issued every year.  The law allows the issuance of 85,000 initial H-1 visas with 20,000 of those visas reserved for individuals who hold a graduate degree issued from a United States university.  

H-1B visas are very popular.  Every year USCIS receives many more applications for H-1 visas than the quota. As such, USCIS accepts applications during this initial filing period and then conducts a lottery.  USCIS will notify the winners of the lottery in late March.  Winners of this lottery will then have 90 days to prepare and file an H-1 petition with USCIS.  Once (and assuming that) the visa petition is approved, the visa will be issued on October 1, 2022.  In the event USCIS does not approve 85,000 visas in that 90-day period, it will conduct a second chance draw in August.

Employers who are presently employing recent university graduates using an F-1 Optional Partitional Training or STEM Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization Document and wish to continue to employ this individual after their employment card expires should file an application for an H-1 visa during this filing window.

If you have any questions about H-1B visas or the employment of foreign students, please contact Rick Green, Partner and Chair of CDF’s Immigration Practice Group, at

About CDF

For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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