ANNUAL H-1B CAP REGISTRATION FOR FY 2024
EMPLOYERS WHO WISH TO NOMINATE H-1B CANDIDATES URGED TO TAKE ACTION BY FEBRUARY 15, 2023
U.S. businesses rely on the H-1B visa program to employ temporary professional foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialty occupations. The position must require at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in a specific field related to the occupation and the H-1B beneficiary must possess at least the specific bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent). USCIS may issue up to 85,000 H-1B cap-subject visas each year, out of which 20,000 visas are reserved for individuals who have earned a U.S. Master’s or higher degree. Since 2014, USCIS has received well over 85,000 H-1B cap requests each year and, consequently, has resorted to a lottery system for allocating visas. In 2020, USCIS implemented substantial revisions to the lottery selection process by creating a preliminary electronic registration process.
The FY 2024 H-1B cap lottery registration is expected to run for several weeks in March 2023 (USCIS has not announced the exact dates yet). During this time, employers (or their attorneys) may register each H-1B candidate they wish to sponsor for an H-1B cap-subject visa via a new USCIS online portal. Assuming that at least 85,000 H-1B registrations are submitted by the registration period end date, USCIS will conduct a computer-generated lottery in late March or early April. If a candidate is selected in the lottery, the employer will then have 90 days to prepare and submit a completed H-1B petition to USCIS by mail (last year, they were due by June 30th). Candidates for whom H-1B petitions are approved will be granted H-1B start dates of October 1, 2023.
Foreign nationals your company may want to consider sponsoring include: existing employees working in a different nonimmigrant visa status (such as F-1, J-1, TN, H-4, etc.); candidates for employment who are currently working outside of the U.S. and have not held H-1B status in the past six years; and candidates who are working in the U.S. for an H-1B cap-exempt institution. If your company is considering sponsoring any foreign national candidates for H-1B status this year, and you would like our assistance with this process, we urge you to contact us soon. Our deadline for employer FY 2024 H-1B cap nominations is February 15, 2023.