2023 (FY24) H-1B Cap Season Is Fast Approaching
The 2023 H-1B cap season should be starting in just over a month and will be interesting to watch after the rollercoaster of record unemployment, the great resignation, and ongoing concerns about economic conditions that have been the norm for the last year or so. It is anticipated that pent-up demand for H1B visas for those not selected in the last few lotteries will continue to increase the demand for high-skilled foreign workers needing such visa status.
As a reminder, there are a limited number of H-1B visas available each fiscal year under federal regulation, with each year’s quota becoming available April 1 for employment commencing October 1. We are encouraging our clients to begin preparing now, especially as these nonimmigrant workers may have multiple employment offers to choose from this year. Every year, the number of registrations greatly outnumbers the number of cap-subject H-1B visas available – it is highly unlikely that this year will be any different.
Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has yet to issue an update on this year’s cap season, including the date on which the portal will open for employers to register, no major changes are expected. Some basic information on the process for those who are new to H1B cap season (or a refresher for cap veterans) includes:
- Employers must submit an electronic registration for each prospective H-1B candidate.
- Registrations have historically commenced in late February or early March and generally close around March 20th – USCIS has yet to announce the exact dates as of yet.
- Prior to registration, employers must create an account in the USCIS portal, which we recommend doing in February.
- No priority is given to registrations submitted at the beginning of the registration period versus those at the end.
- All registrations require a $10 non-refundable registration fee.
- Following the close of the registration period, USCIS conducts a random lottery, generally during the last week of March.
- Petitioners whose registrations are selected in the lottery will be invited to file full H-1B petitions in the 90-day period beginning April 1 and are given 60 days to submit the petition filing.
If you are interested in sponsoring H-1B nonimmigrant visa status for a current or future employee, don’t delay in preparing as the lottery will be here soon.