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USCIS Announces Registration Schedule for FY 2024 H-1B Cap Season

The FY 2024 cap registration period will open at noon ET on March 1, 2023 and will close at noon ET on March 17, 2023. All cap registrations must be drafted and submitted online during this period. Prospective H-1B cap employers may use their existing “registrant” myUSCIS accounts for FY 2024 cap registration. Employers setting up new “registrant” accounts may do so beginning Tuesday, February 21 at noon ET and continuing through the registration period. After registration closes, USCIS will conduct the FY 2024 H-1B cap selection and notify sponsoring employers of selected entries by March 31, 2023. USCIS has not yet announced the period for submitting petitions for selected registrations, but it is expected to begin on Monday, April 3, 2023. The petition filing period will remain open for a minimum of 90 days.

The issue

Sponsoring employers may submit registrations for the FY 2024 H-1B cap between noon ET on March 1, 2023, and noon ET on March 17, 2023, according to USCIS. As in past years, USCIS will use a random computerized lottery to select the registrations for which an H-1B cap petition may be submitted.

Prospective H-1B employers that do not yet have a “registrant” account in the myUSCIS system – the required account type for H-1B registrations – may begin creating accounts at noon ET on February 21, 2023. Account creation can continue through the end of the registration period on March 17.

Registering for the FY 2024 H-1B cap

USCIS will once again use an online registration system to conduct the H-1B cap selection.

Your organization must have a myUSCIS account for each Employer Identification Number (EIN) entity that will sponsor beneficiaries for the FY 2024 cap season. An employer account is necessary whether your organization will work with immigration counsel to submit registrations or will submit registrations on its own behalf. Your organization’s accounts must be maintained by an employee authorized to sign immigration benefit requests for your organization. While more than one authorized signatory is permitted per entity, each signatory must have their own separate account. 

As noted above, myUSCIS has not yet enabled the creation of new employer “registrant” accounts for the FY 2024 H-1B cap season. New accounts may be created starting at noon ET on February 21. Your organization and its representatives must therefore refrain from creating a new myUSCIS account for H-1B registration until February 21. Inadvertently creating the wrong account type will block the user’s email address from creating a registrant account at a later date.

If your organization will be represented by immigration counsel during the registration process, you will be able to associate your organization’s account with its attorneys’ accounts after you create your own.

Cap registration opens March 1, 2023

USCIS will open the cap registration period on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at noon ET. Employers and their immigration counsel can begin to draft and submit cap registrations at that time. The USCIS system will not accept drafts or registrations before March 1.

The registration period will close on Friday, March 17 at noon ET. All registrations for the FY 2024 cap must be submitted by this time. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Employers will be able to include up to 250 beneficiaries in a single registration submission. There is no limit on the number of registrations an employer can submit.

Preparing registrations during the submission period

Between March 1 and March 17, 2023, employers and their counsel will need to draft, review, and sign each registration submission. Once immigration counsel has drafted a registration, the USCIS system will generate a passcode that your organization will use to review, approve and electronically sign the registration. If your organization approves the registration, your counsel will sign it electronically, submit it, and pay the registration fee of $10 per beneficiary.

The H-1B cap selection process

As in past years, USCIS is expected to receive far more H-1B cap registrations than needed to meet the annual quota of 85,000. 

At the end of the registration period, USCIS will conduct two lotteries to select enough beneficiaries to meet the 85,000 annual cap. The first lottery will include all registered beneficiaries and will select enough registrations to meet the regular cap of 65,000. The second lottery includes registered U.S. advanced-degree holders who were not chosen in the first lottery, and would select enough registrations to meet the advanced-degree cap exemption of 20,000.

Notification of selection

USCIS plans to notify employers and immigration counsel of winning registrations by March 31, 2023. Employers and counsel will receive USCIS emails notifying them that the status of their registration(s) has changed; they will then need to log into the USCIS system to see the selection status of each registered beneficiary. 

For each winning beneficiary, USCIS will provide a selection notice that must be printed out and submitted with the cap petition for the beneficiary. The selection notice is valid for the named beneficiary only; employers cannot substitute beneficiaries.

The petition filing period

Though USCIS has not yet announced the H-1B petition filing period, it is likely that the agency will begin to accept cap petitions for selected beneficiaries on Monday, April 3, 2023. The petition filing period must remain open for at least 90 days, so the period would close no earlier than July 3, 2023. 

Employers can file their petitions at any time during the filing period, but some cases might need to be filed earlier in the period. For example, an F-1 student with an optional practical training (OPT) employment authorization document (EAD) that expires before June 30 must have their cap petition filed before the OPT EAD expiration date to ensure cap-gap work authorization benefits through the October 1 start date of their H-1B cap petition. Your organization should work with your immigration team to identify beneficiaries whose petitions must be filed by a specific date within the registration period.

What employers should do now

Though cap registration will not open until March 1, employers should work with their immigration counsel to identify H-1B cap needs and gather beneficiary data as soon as possible. For each beneficiary, the employer must provide the following: 

  • full legal name;
  • gender;
  • date of birth;
  • country of birth;
  • country of citizenship;
  • passport number, if any; and
  • whether the beneficiary is eligible for the U.S. advanced-degree cap, or will be eligible for the advanced-degree cap at the time an H-1B cap petition is filed on the beneficiary’s behalf.

Your organization should also work with your immigration counsel to begin to gather supporting documentation and information required for H-1B cap petitions. Advance preparation can minimize the risk of delay during the busy registration and petition filing periods.

In addition to identifying your H-1B cap needs for FY 2024, your organization should work with your designated immigration counsel to update employer registration accounts (if necessary) and plan for review and approval of registrations during the March 1–17 registration period.

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