H-1B Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding USCIS Fiscal Year(FY) 2024
The fiscal year is quite different from the calendar year. Unlike the calendar year, the Fiscal year does not start in January and Ends in December. Instead, the USCIS Fiscal Year 2024 began on October 1, 2023, and will end on September 30, 2024.
H1B Visa Quota FY 2024
- C/S Cap Case: As per US Congress, under the H1B Regular cap, there are 6,800 H1B Visa slots set aside from the regular quota cap for Singapore and Chile Countries under their Free Trade Agreement.
- Regular Cap case: It is often referred to as H1B1 Cap. The H-1B has an annual capping of 65,000 new Visas each fiscal year. Effective regular cap petitions quota left after this is 65,000 – 6,800 = 58,200.
- U.S. Master’s Cap: 20,000 visas reserved for applicants who obtain a Master’s degree (or higher) from an American University in the US. This is known as the “Master’s cap.”
Registration Process for the H1B Visa Lottery
The USCIS holds the H 1B lottery randomly post the closing date. The timelines for the H1B visa lottery start with filing H1B registration and end with the applicant’s working for the H1B sponsoring employer. Following are the steps and the specified dates for the H1B Visa FY 2024.
Step-1: Online USCIS Account
- Employers must submit one registration per beneficiary they support through the online H-1B registration site.
- You must open an online account on USCIS before February 21, 2023.
Step 2: Registration & Fee Payment
- The registration system opens on March 1, 2023, at noon EST.
- Your employer must submit the registrant’s details, and $10 as a processing fee must be submitted through the registration portal.
- The employer and not the beneficiary should pay the $10 filing cost.
Step-3: Registration Closed
- On March 18, the H 1B registration submission shut down.
- Post that, registrations will not be accepted.
Step-4: Lottery Result Announcement
The lottery results will be declared on March 31. Petitions for chosen applicants are to be filed from April 1, 2023.
Step-5: Petition Window
The petition window stays open for 90 days from the date the H1B visa lottery results are declared.
Step-6: Submit Organization Information
Under the lottery process, which has stayed unaltered since last year, employers, or their approved agents (immigration lawyers), should give specific, primary data about their organization and the mentioned H 1B cap worker.
H-1B Electronic Registration Process
In 2020, USCIS initiated an electronic registration process for the H-1B Visa cap. As a result, aspiring petitioners willing to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree cap, had to register electronically and pay the filing fees of $10 for each beneficiary.
Since its inception, the electronic registration process has been widely acclaimed by applicants, as it has streamlined processing and reduced paperwork. Also, ERP ( Electronic Registration Process) has proven to be economically viable for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Under this process, prospective petitioners, and their authorized representatives (employer or immigration attorney), who are seeking to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap complete a registration process that requires basic information about the aspiring petitioner, and each requested worker. Then, in order to submit an electronic application, applicants must create an online account with USCIS.
During the initial registration period, which remains open for a minimum of 14, every fiscal year, the selection process runs on electronically submitted registrations. After that, only those with selected registrations move on to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
H-1B Cap Registration Process Update
- USCIS is flooded with thousands of applications each year. Thus while selecting the application, it considers specific parameters like historical data related to approvals, revocations, denials, and other applicable factors to calculate the number of petitions required to meet the H-1B cap for the given year.
- In order to get the accurate number, it also considers the number of registrations that need to be shortlisted to achieve the projected number of petitions required to meet the limit. This calculation also incorporates those applicants who still need to file the petition despite being selected.
- Often when the filing is low from the initial selection, USCIS conducts a second round of selection to reach the projected capped visa limit. For example, in the year 2022, USCIS received 308,613 H-1B registrations and initially selected 87,500. However, due to low filing volume, a second round lottery was conducted in July 2022 for an additional 27,717 registrations. A third selection followed it in November 2022 with an additional 16,753 registrations. This summed up in a total of 131,970 selected registrations for the fiscal year 2022.
For 2023, USCIS received 483,927 H-1B registrations and has shortlisted 127,600 registrations. Those selected can expect a selection notice in their USCIS online account. The statement usually includes the details about the filling on the petition.
How to Check H1B Lottery Results, 2024?
- In order to check your H1B lottery results for 2022, log in to the USCIS site and go to the “My Case Status” page.
- Type your case number. Then click on “Check Status.”
- If your case number has been selected, it will show, “The petition has been selected in the lottery.”
- Check Your I-797 Form.
- Use an H1B Tracker.
- See if USCIS has Processed Your Fee Check.
- Look for Your Receipt Number.
- You can also call USCIS Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
What are the Odds of Being Selected for the H1 B Lottery?
Out of every 5.6 H-1B cap registration received by the USCIS during the H-1B cap registration period from March 1 to March 18, 2022, less than 1 registrant were selected in the H1B lottery 2023.
H1 B Visa Lottery Application Fees
The H1B visa lottery application fees are relatively low. A $10 registration fee is required for each beneficiary in the case of an employer-sponsored visa application. This fee must be paid before submitting the registration form and cannot be refunded, even if the application is rejected or not selected in the lottery. However, the total H1B fee can range from $1,720 USD to $8,970 USD. Following are the various types of fees involved in the procedure for an H1 B Visa.
- H1B Registration Fee: $10 to be paid by the employer
- Base filing Fee: $460 to be paid by the employer
- AICWA Fee: $750 or $1,500 to be paid by the employer.
- Employer Fraud Prevention & Detection Fee: $500 to be paid by the employer.
- Employer Fee: If applicable, it will be based on Public Law 114-113. $4,000 to be paid by the employer
- Premium processing fee (Optional): $2,500 to be paid by the employer or applicant.
- Immigration Attorney Fee: It may vary from $500 to $3000. To be paid by the employer
When H1B 2024 Lottery results will be announced?
The H1B 2024 Lottery results are expected to be announced in March 2023. Applicants should check with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for exact dates and times when lottery results will be released.
How can I increase my chances of winning the H1 B Lottery?
- Get your registration done as quickly as possible.
Register only once with an employeer.
- Multiple attempts with the same employer can reduce your chances of getting selected.
- Help your employer expedite the process by providing all the relevant documents from your side.
- Timely and correct submissions can increase your chances of getting selected.
- Employers must ensure that they are offering the highest/most competitive prevailing wage in a particular area so as to increase their chances of success in the H1B visa selection process.
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