H-1B Cap Season for USCIS Fiscal Year 2024 Registration Opens on March 1, 2023
As many Employers and Foreign Nationals are likely aware, the H-1B CAP Season for USCIS 2024 Fiscal Year rapidly approaches. On Friday USICS announced it will open H-1B CAP registration at noon (12PM ET) on March 1, 2023, and registration will run through noon (ET) on March 17, 2023. In light of the news, we recommend Employers and Foreign Nationals consider the following information as we prepare to register those who are eligible.
What is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B program allows companies and other employers in the U.S. to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.
Why the Lottery System?
There are only 85,000 new H-1B Visas granted each year as set by the US Congress. The number of people who apply for this status each year (there were 484,000 registrations for the 2023 Fiscal Year), far outweigh the number of available visas. As such, the USCIS established a randomized selection process, known as the H-1B Lottery.
This system gives preference to holders of U.S. Master’s degrees as there are 20,000 spots reserved for them and this lottery selection process is held first. Those US Master’s degree holders who were not selected in the first round are then released into the second round of selections which includes US Bachelor’s degree holders.
What do I Need to Do?
The registration period will open March 1, 2023 at noon (12 PM, EST) and will close on March 17, 2023 at noon (12PM ET). USCIS will notify petitioners who has been selected by March 31.
If you are an HR/Global Mobility/Immigration/Legal professional responsible for the oversight of your Foreign National employees, we recommend reaching out to your HRBPs, Hiring Managers, and/or Talent Acquisition partners to discuss which employees should be registered. A member of the Moore & Van Allen immigration team will assist you with the establishment of your petitioner account and the registration of your employees or candidates for employment. Prospective petitioners can add to/edit their accounts starting February 21. The USCIS registration fee is $10 per registrant.
Who Should be Considered for Registration?
Those Foreign Nationals who typically benefit from H-1B status are:
- F-1 Students.
- Candidates for employment that you may want to transfer from abroad.
- Candidates who hold another Nonimmigrant status such as L-1B who may have a limited duration and would benefit from H-1B registration as a method to maintain nonimmigrant status while seeking immigrant status.
- Candidates who hold H-4 status and would like to pursue their own H-1B status independent of their Spouse or who have concerns about maintaining continuity of their H-4 Employment Authorization Document.
- Candidates who currently are employed with another US employer who would require H-1B status in order to transfer to your company.
- Candidates in TN, E or H-1B1 status for whom you are considering pursuing permanent residence.
If you are an Employer considering registration for an employee or candidate for employment, or if you are an Employee interested in being registered through your Employer, contact a MVA Immigration Team Member.