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H-1B Cap Is Reached for FY 2024

USCIS today announced that it has received enough cap petitions to fill the 85,000 slots available for H-1B employment in the current fiscal year. Earlier this year, USCIS conducted two separate lottery selections, in March and in July, to select enough cap registrations to meet the quota. The agency will not run a third cap lottery selection for H-1B employment in FY 2024.

A closer look

USCIS has received enough petitions to meet the annual H-1B quota of 85,000 for Fiscal Year 2024, according to an agency announcement issued today.

The announcement means that USCIS will not conduct a third cap lottery selection for H-1B employment in the current fiscal year. 

In March, employers submitted a record 758,994 cap registrations for the FY 2024 quota, an increase of 60% over the prior year, amid concerns that some organizations were attempting to misuse the registration system on behalf of individuals who were the beneficiaries of multiple registrations. This prompted USCIS to begin investigations and prepare referrals to law enforcement in cases of suspected fraud. The agency conducted two cap lottery selections to choose enough petitions to meet the cap – an initial drawing in March, in which 110,791 registrations (or 14.6%) were selected, and a second cap lottery selection of 77,609 registrations in July. As a result, the overall selection rate for FY 2024 eligible registrations was 24.8%.  

During the FY 2023 cap season, employers submitted 483,927 registrations for the FY 2023 quota, an increase of approximately 57% over the prior year. USCIS selected 127,600 of these registrations to meet the quota, or approximately 26% of the total. 

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

The USCIS announcement means that there are no further opportunities for cap-subject H-1B employment in FY 2024, though USCIS continues to accept petitions for employment that is not subject to the cap, including extensions of stay, changes of employer, amended petitions, and employment that is exempt from the annual quota.

Registrations that were not chosen in either of the two FY 2024 lotteries will be reflected in the USCIS system as “not selected.” Employers and their immigration counsel are expected to receive email notifications from the agency indicating that the status of unselected registrations has been changed.

Foreign nationals whose registrations were not selected can be re-registered by a sponsoring employer when the FY 2025 cap season begins in Spring 2024. Unselected registrations are not automatically carried over to the next fiscal year.

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