U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B numerical allocation (H-1B Cap), including the advanced degree exemption (U.S. Master’s Cap). Although USCIS has not indicated how many H-1B registrations were submitted or the overall selection rate, anecdotal reports suggest 15-16% of U.S. Master's cap registrations and just 10-11% of regular H-1B cap registrations were selected in the lottery process. If so, it suggests that FY2024 H-1B cap registrations were at an all-time high.
Per USCIS, registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each H-1B registration beneficiary:
- Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.
- Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
- Denied: Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid.
FY 2024 H-1B Cap petitions must be filed between April 1 and June 30, 2023. Only petitioners with selected registrations may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2024, and only for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration notice. An H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed at the correct service center and within the filing period indicated on the relevant registration selection notice.
Expect receipt notice delays during H-1B Cap season. Due to increased filing volumes typically seen during H-1B cap filing periods, there may be instances where a petition is timely and properly filed, but issuance of the receipt notice is delayed. If you are a petitioner and have confirmation from the delivery service that the petition was delivered, but you have not yet received a Form I-797 confirming receipt of the petition, you should not submit a second petition. If you have confirmation from the delivery service that the petition was delivered and you then submit a second petition, you will be considered to have submitted duplicate petitions. This will result in denial or revocation of both petitions.
Will there be a second lottery, and what happens to unselected registrations? USCIS will select from among the unselected registrations that are on reserve to meet the H-1B regular cap or advanced degree exemption numerical limitation, as applicable, if USCIS receives an insufficient number of cap-subject petitions to meet the annual numerical limitation.
What should employers and global mobility professional do given the low H-1B Cap selection rate? Coordinate with counsel to timely and properly file applicable H-1B cap-subject petitions. Develop contingency plans for internal stakeholders who may be affected by the registration update. Finally, consider other visa options, including but not limited to H-1B cap exempt, TN, O, E, and L visa classifications.
This information is distributed for informational purposes only. For further questions, please contact a G&A attorney for assistance.