Time to Start the H-1B “Cap” Registration and Lottery

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The new year brings new possibilities, including a chance to register for the H-1B “lottery” for the fiscal year 2023. As a reminder, because of a limited number of new H-1Bs available for most employers, each year the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) conducts a lottery to award H-1Bs if applications for more than the available number are received. Certain employers and positions are exempt from the cap, such as non-profit institutions of higher education and their non-profit affiliates.

USCIS implemented a registration procedure so that a full H-1B petition is not required to enter the lottery. The registration process has worked well, and we expect it will look about the same this year.

What We Expect
Although we do not have fiscal year 2023 instructions yet, we expect the registration and filing process to be like the last two years. Registrations were filed mid-March and the lottery was drawn by March 31 for the required April 1 filing period opening.

To register, you must set up an online USCIS account if you do not have one. Your immigration attorney can assist with this process and collect information to register each potential H-1B employee.

If a registration is selected, we expect a 90-day filing window. H-1Bs do not become effective until October 1, 2022, the beginning of fiscal year 2023.

Action
If you would like to register for an H-1B, contact your lawyer now to be ready when the fiscal year 2023 instructions are published. That allows time to assess eligibility, file an LCA, collect information for the registration process, and set up an online account.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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