With each new year comes another H-1B lottery. Although the registration won’t open until March, Employers and potential employees need to start thinking about the process early on to make sure they are prepared.
In the two previous years, USCIS has used electronic registration as a way of conducting the lottery and will continue to do so going forward.
In 2020 the electronic registration ran from March 1 until March 20. Selected applicants were notified before the end of March so they could start filing applications come April 1. In 2021 the registration period ran from March 9 until March 25.
Typically, there are 85,000 visas available, 65,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree and 20,000 for those with a master’s degree or above. Last year saw a whopping 308,613 registrations submitted. USCIS initially selected 87,500 but then announced the second round of selections in July with an additional 27,717 registrations. However, in November a third selection was announced with an additional 16,753 registrations. That’s a total of 131,970 registrations that were selected throughout 2021.
USCIS was forced to select additional registrants because not everyone who filed a registration ended up filing an application. Sometimes, the employer is not able to find a suitable project for the candidate and other times the candidate decides not to join that one employer.
FY 2023 registration process
Each employer wanting to sponsor a foreign national for an H-1B needs to submit a separate online registration for each potential candidate. Employers who have not filed H-1Bs before will need to ensure they set up a USCIS online account.
Employers are reminded to only submit one registration per employee. If an Employer submits more than one registration for a candidate and this comes to the attention of USCIS, both registrations will likely be rejected.
Although USCIS has not yet announced when the registration period will run, we can expect it to be during March. Once the registration is submitted USCIS will run the lottery and Employers/ authorized representatives will receive an electronic notification that a case has been selected.
For the past two years, USCIS has charged a registration fee of $10.00 per candidate.
Once a candidate has been selected in the lottery an Employer will have a 3- month window in which to file the application. Candidates not selected in the first round may still have a chance of being selected if USCIS announces a second and possibly a third round of selections.
For those lucky ones that have been selected, if USCIS adjudicates the petition in their favor, applicants will typically receive approval for 3 years. This can be extended for an additional 3 years. Completing certain steps of the green card process will allow an individual to extend the H-1B beyond the 6-year limit.
For further information regarding H-1B and the registration process please refer to our previous articles:
If you still have questions, please contact PLG Partner Chris Prescott at email@example.com