USCIS to Conduct Second FY 2024 H-1B Cap Lottery
On July 27, USCIS announced that it will conduct a second lottery for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap. USCIS has not yet indicated when the second lottery will occur.
USCIS previously concluded its initial FY 2024 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 is being conducted because the number of H-1B petitions ultimately submitted during the initial H-1B filing period (April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023) were not sufficient to meet the annual H-1B cap. H-1B cap registrations that were not selected in the initial lottery remained in a reserve and the second lottery will be conducted from this reserve. USCIS has not yet announced how many additional registrations will be selected from the reserve.
WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS EXPECT NEXT?
- Employers or their designated counsel should check their registration accounts for new selection notices.
- Selected registrations are expected to have a notice indicating the selection is from a reserve registration.
- The notice will specify the 90-day filing period during which the employer must submit the H-1B cap petition for the selected registration.
- The H-1B cap petition for the selected registration must be submitted to USCIS within the filing period specified on the notice.
- The notice must be included with the H-1B petition submitted to USCIS during the specified filing period.
- The H-1B cap petition may only be submitted for the beneficiary named in the selected registration; employers may not substitute another beneficiary.
The running of a second lottery is welcome news to employers and foreign nationals who were shut out of the initial lottery. Last year, only one lottery was conducted, and a sufficient number of petitions were submitted and approved to meet the H-1B cap. This year, USCIS received a record 758,994 eligible H-1B cap registrations. Nonetheless, the petitions submitted pursuant to the first lottery conducted in March were not sufficient to meet the cap. Widespread layoffs in the technology sector may have resulted in fewer submissions pursuant to the initial round of selected registrations. Additionally, USCIS is investigating allegations of fraud and duplicate/improper submissions in the registration process, and this, too, may have contributed to the submission of fewer petitions and the need to run a second lottery.
For additional information, you may visit the USCIS FY 2024 H-1B Cap Season site or contact your designated Gibney representative.