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2023 (FY24) H-1B Cap Season Opens March 1st

on Thursday, 2 February 2023 in Labor & Employment Law Update: Sarah M. Huyck, Editor

Over the last weekend of January 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that the 2023 H-1B cap season opens at noon EST on March 1st and ends at noon EST on March 17th. It is only during this period of time, that registrations for the H-1B lottery can be submitted by employers hoping to obtain H-1B visa status for current or prospective employees who have not previously been counted under the regulatory cap.  We encourage our clients to begin preparing now, especially as these nonimmigrant workers may have multiple employment offers to choose from this year. 

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.  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.

Basic information on the process for those who are new to H-1B cap season (or a refresher for cap veterans) includes: 

  • Employers must submit an electronic registration for each prospective H-1B candidate.
  • Registrations may be submitted between noon EST on March 1, 2023 and noon EST on March 17, 2023.
  • Prior to registration, employers must create an account in the USCIS portal, which opens at noon EST on February 21, 2023.
  • 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 registration period will be here (and gone) before you know it.

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