USCIS Completes Second FY 2024 H-1B Cap Lottery
USCIS completed the second H-1B cap lottery for fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap on July 31, 2023. All employers with selected registrations have been notified. Employers with selected registrations from the second lottery may file an H-1B petition for the beneficiary of a selected registration during the 90-day period running from August 2, 2023 to October 31, 2023.
As previously reported, USCIS conducted its initial H-1B cap lottery in March 2023, and selected employers had a 90-day window during which to file H-1B cap petitions for selected beneficiaries. The second lottery was conducted because the number of H-1B petitions ultimately submitted and approved during the initial H-1B filing period were not sufficient to meet the annual statutory H-1B cap. H-1B cap registrations that were not selected in the initial lottery remained in a reserve and the July lottery was conducted from this reserve.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR EMPLOYERS AND FOREIGN NATIONALS:
- Employers with selected registrations will see updates in their myUSCISaccounts, including a selection notice and details of when and where to file the H-1B cap petition.
- Only employers 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; no substitution of beneficiaries is permitted.
- An H-1B cap-subject petition for a selected registration must be properly filed at the designated service center and within the filing period (August 2, 2023 to October 31, 2023) specified on the relevant registration selection notice.
- Online filing is not available for H-1B petitions. Petitioners must file by paper and must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petition.
- Registration selection only indicates that employers are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions; it does not signify that the petition will be approved.
- Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must submit evidence and establish eligibility for approval based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements.
USCIS reports that, this year, it saw an increase in the number of registrations generally, the number beneficiaries with multiple registrations (including registrations made by different employers for the same beneficiary), and the number of registrations submitted on behalf of unique beneficiaries with only one registration. USCIS suggests that fewer petitions were filed pursuant to the first lottery because of USCIS fraud investigations resulting in denied and revoked petitions. Layoffs (and lack of continuing employment sponsorship opportunities for foreign nationals) also contributed to fewer filings in the first round. If these phenomena continue, a third lottery could be needed.
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