Here is another version “Dear Sophie,” an advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working in tech companies.
“Your questions are critical to spreading the knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” said Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. “Whether you’re looking for a job in Human Ops, as a founder, or in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in the next column.”
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What do my founding team and I need to know early on in order to go through the next H-1B lottery for the STEM OPT candidates we are hiring?
– Strong strategy
Congratulations – it’s only August and you’re on a roll! We’re glad you’re planning now so you can be on your way and have smooth seas and clear skies for the next round of H-1Bs. It’s especially important now that we have some recent H-1B lottery updates and that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still working through a very deep backlog of cases. By starting now, you can increase your skills to maintain your skills.
Just this week, USCIS announced that they have completed selecting people for the April 2022 lottery. There was an electronic filing process in March for all those who wanted to be selected for H-1Bs in April, and all were hopeful for the H-1B start date of October 1, 2022.
For the past several years since USCIS instituted the March electronic lottery system, petitioners have narrowed down the number of selected H-1B registrants to follow and submit a full I-129 petition for H-1B by June 30. Therefore, in previous years, USCIS has conducted multiple registrant selection processes—in July, September, and beyond—to fill the remaining slots for H-1Bs in the fiscal year before the government reaches the limit.
We were all surprised that a second election was not held in July this year. This week, USCIS confirmed that they have received enough H-1B petitions to meet this year’s cap, and this week they changed another person’s status in their system to “not selected.”
Perhaps they are getting better statistical estimates of how many registrants will choose to raise the petition rate and the 85,000 total annual H-1B subject visa cap. Next year and beyond, all applicants will be selected in March, and no additional selection periods will be held in summer and autumn.
Let’s dive into everything you need to remember when applying for STEM OPT now and preparing for next year’s H-1B lottery. As you may know, STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) is a two-year extension for individuals on an F-1 student visa whose field of study is on the list of STEM-designated degrees.
Time is important
The first candidate can apply for STEM OPT 90 days before the current 12-month OPT EAD (Employment Authorization Document) expires. I recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.