Jan 30, 2023

Be Prepared: H-1B Cap Season is Around the Corner!

It’s time to start preparing for the H-1B cap season. The H-1B cap registration period for Fiscal Year 2024 will open at noon Eastern on March 1, 2023, and run through noon on March 17, 2023.

During the initial registration period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically register each foreign worker they intend to seek to file an H-1B cap subject petition and pay the associated $10 registration fee. New H-1B registrants will be able to create new accounts beginning at noon on February 21, 2023.

What does this mean for your organization?

If your organization is looking to hire qualified foreign professionals, now is the time to act. Your organization should identify the H-1B beneficiaries as soon as possible in order to successfully register by the March 17th deadline. In addition to new hires, likely H-1B candidates in your current workforce include:

  • Recent graduates working under their Optional Practical Training (“OPT”)
  • L-1B employees
  • Individuals in TN or E status for whom you wish to pursue green cards
  • J-1 trainees
  • H-4, L-2, or other dependent spouses
  • Other candidates, including foreign national employees who were not previously selected during a prior lottery.

If you are not sure which of your employees may require a new H-1B visa, you should seek guidance from counsel.

What happens after the registration period has closed?

Once the H-1B registration window is closed, USCIS will conduct two lotteries. The first includes all registrants that qualify. The second lottery is for beneficiaries who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher and were not selected in the first lottery.

If the beneficiary is selected in either lottery, both the petitioner and the authorized representative will be notified of the selection by email and in their myUSCIS accounts by March 31. Petitioners will then be able to file H-1B cap subject petitions on behalf of the selected foreign workers. These petitions must be filed within the specific 90-day filing period listed on the H-1B Registration Selection Notice. The Beneficiaries of approved H-1B cap petitions may start working in the U.S. under H-1B status on October 1, 2023.

Beneficiaries not selected are ineligible to file H-1B cap subject petitions for the current fiscal year. However, USCIS may conduct additional random selections throughout the year from the registrations previously submitted during the initial registration period.

As always, the immigration professionals at SGR are ready and available to address any questions or concerns you may have about the H-1B process and assist you expertly and efficiently to maximize the chances of grabbing one of those coveted H-1B visas.

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