With the annual opening of the electronic registration process for H-1B cap-subject petitions expected in March 2022, now is the time for employers to begin finalizing their plans for the FY2023 H-1B cap season. Below is additional information and guidance on how to prepare and maximize your chances of success.
Summary of H-1B Cap Electronic Registration System. In 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented the H-1B electronic registration process. Under this system, employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions must first electronically register each employee (also known as a visa beneficiary) in an online portal. The registration period typically opens in early to mid-March and remains open for a minimum of 14 days. In late March, USCIS conducts a selection process for the registered employers and visa beneficiaries. Only those employers with selected registrations are then eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for selected visa beneficiaries during the filing period, which historically has been 90 days.
FY 2023 H-1B Cap Electronic Registration. USCIS has not yet announced when the electronic registration portal will open for FY2023 H-1B registration, but it’s widely anticipated that an announcement will come in February or early March 2022.
Accordingly, now is the appropriate time of year when employers and Global Mobility Teams should contact business stakeholders to assess and determine their H-1B cap filing requirements for the upcoming fiscal year.
If your company will be working with G&A or immigration counsel to draft and submit H-1B cap registrations, we recommend the following:
- Create or Maintain an “H-1B registrant” account in the USCIS online system. Employers must have an H-1B registrant account at my.USCIS.gov, even if they will be represented by counsel during the registration process. Contact a G&A attorney for more information or assistance with setting up an employer H-1B registrant account.
- Identify H-1B beneficiaries NOW. If your company has not yet provided your immigration counsel with a complete list of foreign nationals to be registered for the H-1B cap, it should do so as soon as possible so that registrations can be submitted by the deadline in the last week of March 2022.
- Promptly review each registration. Once G&A completes drafting an H-1B cap registration, the employer’s designated official must log into the USCIS system to review, approve and electronically sign the registration. This is also the time to confirm with immigration counsel whether any changes are required.
After the registration period closes. USCIS will conduct two random lotteries to select the beneficiaries on whose behalf an H-1B cap petition can be filed toward the FY2023 “regular” and “U.S. Master’s degree” H-1B caps. The “regular” H-1B cap allows up to 65,000 visas to be issued to eligible visa beneficiaries. The “U.S. Master’s degree” cap provides another 20,000 H-1B visas to selected holders of U.S. advanced degrees.
USCIS will begin notifying selected employers and their immigration counsel of the lottery results by March 31, 2022. For each selected cap registration, USCIS sends an email to the employer’s designated official and immigration counsel notifying the recipient that there has been a change in the status of a cap registration. To learn the lottery results, employers and their immigration counsel must login to their my.USCIS.gov account to review the status of each beneficiary. Once the notification process begins, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions on behalf of selected employers and their visa beneficiaries on April 1, 2022. All FY 2022 H-1B cap petitions must be submitted to USCIS within a 90 day period after the selection process concludes.
G&A will closely monitor developments involving the H-1B registration process and will provide timely updates on its website. For more information or assistance with setting up an employer H-1B registrant account, please contact us.