On Monday, March 27, 2023, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received a sufficient number of H-1B registrations through its electronic registration system to reach the annual cap for FY 2024. The announcement includes registrations for both the 65,000 regular cap as well as the 20,000 slots allotted for the U.S. advanced degree exemption (or “master’s cap”). H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2024 may be submitted based on valid, selected registrations beginning April 1, 2023. While USCIS has not announced plans for additional selections, valid registrations remain eligible for selection if the number of petitions actually submitted does not allow the agency to reach the annual cap.
Registration Status Updates
USCIS states in its announcement that the lottery selection process is complete and that the agency has notified all prospective petitioners if their registrations have been selected. Selection means an employer is eligible to file a FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of a candidate for whom a selection notice has been assigned.
As part of the notification process, USCIS will update employers’ online accounts to show one of the following statuses for each registered candidate:
- Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year.
- Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition for FY 2024. This means that employers will be able to proceed with preparing and submitting a petition on behalf of selected candidates.
- Denied: This status will show if a duplicate registration was submitted by the same employer for the same candidate, or if a payment method was declined and not reconciled. USCIS states that if a registration was denied as a duplicate, all registrations submitted for the candidate for FY 2024 are invalid.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: This will display for cases where the registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or was otherwise invalid.
Starting April 1, 2023, employers will be able to file H-1B cap-subject petitions with USCIS for candidates with selection notices. Employers will be given a 90-day filing period, as indicated on the USCIS selection notice, to submit the completed H-1B cap-subject petition.
The length of time USCIS will take to adjudicate the selected petitions that are submitted by employers within the 90-day filing period is not certain for those cases submitted without Premium Processing. Premium Processing is presently available for H-1B cap-subject petitions, and USCIS will be expected to adjudicate H-1B petitions filed with Premium Processing within 15 calendar days of receipt.
The number of total registrations submitted as part of the annual lottery selection process has increased in the past two years.
During last year’s FY 2023 H-1B cap registration process, USCIS received 483,927 H-1B registrations and selected 127,600 registrations based on projections as the number needed to reach the FY 2023 allocation cap. This amounted to 26.3% of all registrations being chosen to continue with the H-1B filing process.
The prior year, USCIS received 308,613 FY 2022 H-1B registrations and initially selected 87,500 registrations, projected as needed to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations. USCIS then conducted a second lottery selection in July 2021 of an additional 27,717 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection round, and a third lottery selection in November 2021 of 16,753 more registrations. This resulted in a total of 131,970 selected registrations for FY 2022, which amounted to 42.7% of all registrations being chosen to file an H-1B cap petition with USCIS that year.
Mayer Brown will continue to provide updates on the H-1B cap as additional information becomes available from USCIS.
Please continue to follow updates on our blog, The Mobile Workforce.