The annual H-1B cap lottery registration process will open on March 1. Taft’s Immigration practice group encourages U.S. employers to identify current and future employees who will need H-1B visa status in 2023.
H-1B work visas are generally for professionals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The degree must be relevant to the offered job, and the foreign national must be paid the applicable “prevailing wage.” The H-1B professional can then be approved to work in the U.S. for an initial period of up to three years, generally renewable for up to a total of six years.
Foreign nationals that employers may want to place in the H-1B cap lottery include:
- Individuals currently working pursuant to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), including students and spouses of employment-based temporary visa holders.
- Individuals currently working pursuant to Form I-20.
- Individuals outside of the U.S. who may not qualify for another visa status.
- Individuals in L-1 temporary work visa status who should transition to H-1B to get extensions of status while pursuing the green card process.
- Individuals in TN or E-2 status temporary work visa status for whom employers are considering pursuing the green card process.
The H-1B cap lottery registration system is in its fourth year of implementation. The registration process includes the following:
- Employers will submit a simplified informational page online for each H-1B beneficiary whom they wish to sponsor. This online registration will require only basic information about the company and each professional being sponsored. This will serve as the employer’s lottery application.
- Feb. 21–March 1, 2023: Employers begin to create a myUSCIS registrant account, as is needed to enter the lottery.
- The lottery application period will be open for 17 days, from March 1, 2023 (noon EST) until March 17, 2023 (noon EST) with employers and their representatives submitting registrations through an online portal.
- A $10 H-1B registration fee must be paid for each H-1B e-filed registration submitted for lottery applicants.
- The H-1B random selection process should be conducted from the e-filed registrations by March 31 and employers will then be notified if they are lottery winners.
- Employers whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file H-1B petitions within 90 days following notification.
Employers seeking H-1B status for current or potential employees should contact the Taft Immigration team as soon as possible, and no later than in early March, in order to avoid missing the H-1B “cap season.”