The H-1B Visa Lottery 2023-24 refers to the process of selecting the beneficiaries who’ll receive H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2024, which runs from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Each year, the US government sets a cap on the number of H-1B visas that are available, and the demand for these visas typically exceeds the supply, resulting in a lottery system to select beneficiaries.
The H-1B lottery system was introduced to ensure that visas are issued fairly and equitably to qualified applicants.
To file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2023-2024, employers must first complete an online registration process and pay a $10 fee for each beneficiary. Only one registration can be submitted for each H-1B employee.
USCIS will then conduct a random selection process on the electronic registrations, and only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The registration window for the H-1B 2023-24 season is from March 1 to March 20, 2023. USCIS plans to notify account holders by March 31, 2023, if their registration is selected. The standard random selection process will be used for the H-1B 2023-24 lottery, as the rule prioritizing cap candidates in higher wage levels was removed from the Federal Register.
H-1B Cap and Cap-Exempt
There are two caps under the H1B visa- master’s cap and regular cap. The Master’s cap comprises 20,000 slots accessible to those holding advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree or equivalent or higher. In case your petition is rejected in the master’s cap, it’ll be resubmitted to the regular cap that comprises 65,000 slots. Therefore, workers possessing advanced degrees have a higher possibility of being considered in the first instance itself.
However, there’s a way to avoid this H1B cap, that is, to occupy a job for an institute of higher education, a non-profit organization that is in alliance with a government research organization. These employers are exempt from the cap, so they can file H-1B petitions at any time of the year. Moreover, you’ve already been counted against the cap, all successive petitions will be regarded as cap-exempt.
The term “H-1B cap-exempt” refers to the situation where an employer is not bound by the annual cap that is imposed on H-1B petitions, and hence the petitioner is not subject to the cap. On the other hand, the term “cap-subject” implies that the employer is not cap-exempt. In such cases, H-1B visas are specifically allotted to “cap-subject” and advanced degree petitioners.
Select “I am an H-1B registrant” under the account type section and wait until the initial registration period opens.
Enter the company’s information
Fill in other relevant data.
Note: If representatives already have an account, they don’t need to recreate an account. Holding the same account, representatives must enter data related to their law firm or organization. Registrants can review the company’s data while their representatives enter them into the system.
There’re three types of accounts. Make sure your account comes under any one of them:
Applicant or Petitioner or Requestor Account: This type of account is possibly used to prepare and file applications or petitions or benefit requests and not to prepare or submit H-1B registrations.
Attorney or Representative Account: This type of account must be used solely by attorneys or legal representatives filing H-1B registration on behalf of the prospective registrants. Form G-28 or Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorneys or Accredited Representative must also be submitted.
Registrant Account: This type of account is only used by prospective registrants to take part in the H-1B registration process along with the attorneys (if they’ll be using an attorney at all).
Unfairly Increasing Chances of Selection
Individuals, at times, seek unfair means to multiply the possibility of their selection.
But little do they consider that the USCIS possesses controlling tools to not only detect fraud entries but to transfer the entity who has submitted a false attestation to federal law enforcement agencies for further investigation and action. USCIS carries the autonomy to deny and revoke false petitions or petitions filed by using unfair means, and to make law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.
Every time a petition is filed or a registration is submitted, an attestation pops up for the petitioner to sign under penalty of perjury:
All the information contained in the registration submission is complete, true, and correct;
the registration(s) reflect a legitimate job offer; and
the registrant, or the organization on whose behalf the registration(s) is being submitted, has not worked with or agreed to work with, another registrant, petitioner, agent, or other individual or entity to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection for the beneficiary or beneficiaries in this submission.
If the attestation is found false and incorrect, the USCIS will find that the registration is not properly submitted, hence, the petitioner will lose the eligibility to file a petition based on that same registration by the regulatory language at 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(iii)(A)(1).
H-1B Registration Process Timeline
Feb. 21: On this date the process of creation of H-1B registrant accounts at noon Eastern will take place for the prospective petitioners and registrants.
March 1: On this date the H-1B registration period will open at noon Eastern.
March 20: On this date the H-1B registration period will close at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
March 31: On this date, the USCIS will notify selected registrants.
April 1: This is the earliest date that FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petitions based on the registrations selected during the initial FY 2024 selection period may be filed.
August 2: This is the earliest date that FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petitions based on registrations selected in the second round of selection may be filed.
Between March 1st to March 20th, the petitioner gets time to edit, delete, or modify the details already entered during the registration.
USCIS has randomly chosen from the registrations that were properly submitted to reach the cap and has informed all potential petitioners with selected registrations that they may file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
Registrants’ online accounts will now display one of the following statuses for each registration (for each beneficiary registered):
Submitted: This means that the petition is successfully submitted, however, the petition is still under a review process and the final status of either “selected” or “denied” is yet to be updated.
Selected: This means that the petition is approved and the sponsor can file an I-129 petition after April 1st, 2023. The filing deadline will be allocated by the USCIS, so be alert.
Not Selected: This means that your registration is not selected. Until October 1st, 2023, you won’t see “not selected” status if USCIS doesn’t select your registration.
Denied: The core reason for denial is the submission of multiple registrations by the same sponsor for the same beneficiary. USCIS denies all of it.
Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid.
For more details, please refer to the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.
FY 2024 H-1B Cap Petitions
Beginning April 1, 2023, H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2024, including those petitions that are eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may be filed with USCIS, provided they’re based on a valid, selected registration.
Only petitioners with selected registrations are permitted to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2024, and just for the beneficiary mentioned in the relevant selected registration notice.
The petition must be filed with precision at the apt service center and within the filing period mentioned on the relevant registration selection notice. The period for submitting the H-1B cap-subject petition will be at least 90 days. Since online filing is not available for H-1B petitions, petitioners filing H-1B petitions must do so by paper. Petitioners must comprise a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petition.
Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still ensure eligibility for petition approval based on current statutory and regulatory requirements. Selection in the registration process does not excuse the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise demonstrating eligibility, as registration only determines eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.
Required Fees For H-1B Visa Lottery
An amount of $10 is to be given for each registration for a single beneficiary. This H-1B registration fee is non-refundable.
The daily credit card transaction limit has been temporarily increased by the U.S. Department of Treasury from $24,999.99 to $39,999.99 per day for the FY 2024 H-1B cap season. There are alternatives to this:
Using a checking account from a U.S.-based financial institution.
Using a debit card from a U.S.-based financial institution.
Alternative Options if Not Selected in the H-1B Lottery
If you or your petition isn’t selected by the USCIS in the H-1B lottery process, alternative options must be considered on a priority basis as such rejection will hamper your work authorization.
If the work authorization is about to expire, the registrant will be put in USCIS’s 60-day grace period where the registrant has to readjust the status to a different visa type. To avoid any legal issues in the U.S., if the readjustment of status fails to be made, the registrant must prepare to leave the U.S. before the termination of the grace period.
A few alternatives to an H-1B visa are:
Granted to those who’ve worked in a foreign entity (or at least one continuous year during the last three years of employment) affiliated to the central organization based in the U.S. and the latter transfers them to work in the U.S.
Granted to those willing to work in the U.S. temporarily for not more than one year.
Granted to those seeking training in the U.S. (as the training is unavailable in his/her home country) which will possibly aid the visa holder to pursue a career outside the U.S.
Granted to those who’re specifically willing to gain expertise on a client or employer’s product.
Granted to those who’re needed in the U.S. for ‘business activity’ without any remuneration or salary.
Granted to the “best” among all in a particular field such as art, entertainment, athletics, research, etc.
You can always increase your chances of getting selected without using any unfair means. Qualifying for the master’s cap by undertaking a master’s course in the United States can heighten your chance of success. Moreover, you should ensure that the registration is done only once for one beneficiary by one legal petitioner or representative within the stipulated time. All the supporting documents are duly submitted by the prospective petitioner.
To avoid errors, you can always reach out to a hand like ours to avail major benefits. We have experienced H-1B immigration attorneys who have been working in the field for more than 20 years. Call us now for a free consultation. H-1Bvisajobs.com is at your service, once and forever.