13 February 2023

H-1B Visa Registration to Begin in March

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the initial registration period for fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Registration opens at 12:00 p.m. EST on March 1, 2023 and runs through 12:00 p.m. EST on March 17, 2023. During this period, employers can complete and submit their registrations using the electronic H-1B registration system. The H-1B visa program is often the best option to employ foreign nationals in technical or professional occupations that require at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Accordingly, timely and proper completion of the electronic registration process is critically important. Registration for the selection process requires employers to provide basic information about each foreign national beneficiary and pay a $10 fee for each registered beneficiary.

New H-1B visas are capped at 85,000 for each government fiscal year for cap-subject employers, which applies to all for-profit companies. Certain non-profit organizations, colleges, and universities may be exempt from the H-1B cap. However, most employers will face the challenge that H-1B visa demand is certain to exceed the available quota. 483,927 H-1B registrations were submitted for fiscal year 2023, which is the highest ever number of H-1B registrations received by USCIS in the history of the program. Employers who fail to register this March risk losing valuable employees who currently work under the F-1 or J-1 student visa because their work authorization has limited duration under those visa classifications. High demand for the H-1B visa has existed for years, as it is often the only option to retain or hire skilled foreign nationals, including recent U.S. college graduates.

Employers whose H-1B registrations are selected will be notified by March 31, 2023, with possible subsequent selections in the following months until all 85,000 available visas are allocated. We emphasize that those employers with workers in the F-1 or J-1 visa classifications who miss the March 2023 registration period will have to wait until March 2024 to again apply for an H-1B visa, which will only have an October 1, 2025 fiscal year effective date. Therefore, advance planning is necessary to avoid work authorization interruptions with foreign national workers and consequent business operations disruptions.

Employers seeking to register foreign national employees for the H-1B lottery are encouraged to contact a member of Miller Johnson’s Immigration Law Practice Group to confirm H-1B visa eligibility and prepare for the registration as soon as possible. Questions about the USCIS electronic employer registration, or questions on whether a job candidate or employee will require an H-1B visa petition, may be directed to any member of the Miller Johnson Immigration Law Practice Group.

Upcoming Webinar:

Immigration Options for Talent Acquisition
Tuesday, February 21 at 12pm 

Immigration options exist for talent acquisition for hard-to-fill jobs. Learn about the requirements for the most common employment-based immigration categories to hire foreign nationals. The webinar will explain how the H-1B, H-2B, O-1, L-1, TN, and J-1 visa categories can be a useful approach to meeting hiring goals. We’ll cover the procedures, timing and costs for employer sponsored visas and green cards and provide insight on how immigration options for talent acquisition can be a major strategic advantage.

Join Miller Johnson immigration attorneys Kevin Battle, John Koryto and Mike Stroster on Tuesday, February 21 at 12pm for this complimentary hour webinar presentation.  Register here.