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USCIS Completes FY 2024 H-1B Cap Selection Process

The annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B cap registrations was met in the initial registration period for employment in FY 2024, according to USCIS. The precise number of cap registrations has not yet been disclosed. The agency has completed the regular and advanced-degree selection lotteries, and has notified employers of selection results. Employers will need to log into their H-1B cap registration accounts to learn which beneficiaries were selected. H-1B cap selection notices indicate an April 1 to June 30, 2023 petition filing period. If USCIS does not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during this filing period to meet the 85,000 H-1B annual limit, the agency may conduct one or more subsequent lottery selections to reach the limit.

A closer look

USCIS has announced that the annual limit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap employment has been met and the lottery selection process has been completed. Sponsoring employers and their attorneys have been notified of the selection results and are now able to view the status of their submissions in their registration accounts.

During the initial registration period, employers submitted more than enough registrations to meet the quota of 65,000 standard H-1B cap numbers and the cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. The precise number of cap registrations submitted has not yet been disclosed by USCIS.

What’s next: review lottery results online

To learn the lottery results, your immigration attorney and your company’s authorized signatory will need to access their account and review the status of each beneficiary. In addition, for each cap registration, USCIS should have sent an email to the employer’s authorized signatory and immigration counsel, notifying them that there has been a change in the status of the registration.

For each registered beneficiary, the USCIS online system will reflect one of the following statuses:

  • Selected: The employer may file a FY 2024 H-1B cap petition for the beneficiary beginning April 1.
  • Submitted: The beneficiary was not chosen in the initial lottery selection, but the beneficiary will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, in the event that USCIS does not receive enough complete H-1B cap petitions during the filing period to meet the annual quota. The employer may not file an FY 2024 cap petition for the beneficiary unless notified otherwise by USCIS. In prior years, USCIS has determined it necessary to conduct more than one lottery selection in a cap season, which provided employers with another opportunity to file H-1B petitions after the initial lottery was run. Last year, however, UCSIS conducted only one lottery.
  • Denied: A duplicate registration was submitted by the employer for the same beneficiary. If a registration was denied as a duplicate, all of the employer’s registrations for that specific beneficiary are invalid.
  • Invalidated – Failed Payment: A registration was submitted, but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid.

H-1B cap petition filing begins April 1

USCIS will begin to accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of lottery selectees on April 1, 2023. The petition filing period can end no earlier than 90 days thereafter. All FY 2024 H-1B cap petitions must be submitted during this period for registrations selected in the initial lottery. Selection notices received thus far reflect an April 1 to June 30, 2023 filing period.

Though in most cases a cap petition can be filed at any point during the filing period, some cases may need to be filed at specific times. If the beneficiary is an F-1 student working on optional practical training (OPT) who will need cap-gap protection, the petition must be filed before his or her OPT employment authorization document expires. If the beneficiary is awaiting completion or award of a required degree, the petition must not be filed until the degree has been issued or the beneficiary has obtained documentation from the appropriate school official that degree requirements have been satisfied.

What this means for foreign nationals registered in the cap lottery

Your H-1B sponsoring employer and its immigration counsel will access the USCIS registration system to determine the outcome of the FY 2024 cap lottery. Employers will review selections and follow their agreed communication protocols for notification of selection. Please rest assured that you will be notified in due course. For those selected in the lottery, your employer’s immigration team will proceed with next steps for filing an H-1B petition with USCIS. If your registration was not selected, you can expect a communication and any related immigration strategy to follow from your employer’s immigration team.

Possibility of subsequent lottery selections

If a registration was not selected in this lottery, it will be held in the system and remain in consideration for selection in the event that, by June 30, USCIS does not receive a sufficient number of H-1B cap petitions to meet the 85,000 H-1B annual quota. Whether the agency will conduct more than one lottery selection will depend on how many registrations are selected by USCIS in the initial round, as well as how many H-1B petitions are submitted to USCIS by employers with selected registrations.

In last year’s H-1B cap season, USCIS conducted only one lottery selection, and there was therefore only one H-1B cap filing period, running from April 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022. In the two previous H-1B cap seasons, USCIS conducted more than one H-1B registration selection lottery.

What’s next

Your company’s authorized signatory and your immigration attorneys will need to log into the registration system to determine which beneficiaries have been selected and obtain the USCIS selection notice for each such beneficiary. Your organization’s H-1B registration leads should also look out for emails from the USCIS registration system notifying them of action taken on the organization’s registrations. Your immigration attorneys will also receive these notifications.

To facilitate the submission of H-1B cap petitions, work closely with your immigration team so that essential supporting evidence, including the USCIS selection notice, company documentation, beneficiary educational documents, and other required documentation, can be collected promptly if it has not yet been gathered.

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