The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached its initial registration quota of H-1B registration selection, which is commonly known as the H-1B lottery. There were 483,927 registrations (which was a one-year increase of 56%). The USCIS selected 127,600 as the number of acceptance registrants needed to meet the fiscal year targets of 65,000 for the regular H-1B cap with an additional 20,000 numbers for the advanced degree exemptions. The number of acceptances in the initial selection process went up 46% even though the cap number remained the same.
One and done this time
Previously, USCIS held three lotteries to fill FY 2022. It initially selected 87,500 petitioners. It had the two subsequent random lotteries on July 28, 2021, and November 2021 to ensure it met the cap.
This year, the USCIS opted to use a one-and-done approach to address the cap and selected may more potential H1B ‘s from the lottery pool in the initial round. On August 23, 2022, the USCIS reached its quota for FY2023. It also updated its registration portal to identify those selected to register and those who were not selected.
Next year’s registration
The next H-1B for FY 2024 begins in March of 2023. Employers should plan to start their applications in February of that year. The USCIS typically has a registration window starting in March and then on April 1, the employer has 90 days to complete and file the H1B if selected. Employers needn’t wait until then to discuss strategy and prepare for the application process. It involves identifying employee candidates in special occupations which makes it essential to consult with immigration law firms to guide clients through the H-1B application process.