H1B Visas - a few updates
H1B visa lottery work authorization

H1B Visas - a few updates

Varun Kashyap

Here's the latest on the H1B visa:

Another H1B visa lottery

On November 19, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS held a lottery to select from electronic registrations that had already been submitted. What's a Visa lottery?

It's a computer-generated random selection process that selects the required number of applicants from a large pool.

Why is a Visa lottery being held now? The USCIS allocates a set number of H1B visas to be given out every year. To meet this allocation, it has a lottery.

This is the third Visa lottery being held this year. The first one was in Match, the second one in July, and the third one conducted now. The current lottery process will start on November 22, 2021, and end on February 22, 2022.

Automatic job authorization for spouses

In a welcome move, the Biden administration has agreed to provide automatic work authorization permits to spouses of H1B visa holders. This came to fruition after a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers' Association.

On the ground, this translates to 180 days of work authorization for spouses of H1B and L1 visa holders. While spouses of L1 visa holders will get the extension without applying, H4 visa holders will need to apply for an extension once their employment permit expires. L1 Visas have a shorter validity period when compared to H1B visas. L1 Visas allow multinationals to temporarily shift foreign employees to their offices in the US for specialized positions.

The H4 Visa is given to dependents of H1B visa holders, while the L2 visa is given to dependents of L1 visa holders.


a) https://www.financialexpress.com/passport-visa/us-allows-automatic-job-authorisation-for-spouses-of-h-1b-visa-holders-what-the-policy-change-means-for-indians/2369412/

b) https://www.livemint.com/news/india/h1b-visa-uscis-holds-third-lottery-this-year-11637558427434.html