Type: Law Bulletins
Date: 07/31/2023

Second-Chance Opportunity To Become Winners in H-1B Lottery Initially Conducted in March 2023

On July 27, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the one previous drawing from H-1B lottery registrations has not resulted in fully using the current fiscal year’s H-1B numerical allocations.

This offers yet another opportunity for H-1B registrants to be selected for a “cap number” and to be invited to file an H-1B petition with USCIS.

This second round of drawings has been conducted and the latest batch of “winners” should have been already notified. Filers should check their emails and/or their myUSCIS accounts to check for possible selection notices.

Second-round winners are permitted to have an H-1B start date beginning Oct. 1, 2023, and must file H-1B petitions with USCIS by Oct. 31, 2023, to be counted under this year’s cap.

H-1B Program Background:

H-1B work visas generally are for professionals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The degree must be relevant to the offered job. The “prevailing wage” must be paid to the foreign national who can then be approved for an initial period of up to three years, renewable for up to a total of six years. The H-1B visa category is subject to an annual cap, with certain exemptions. The government can approve up to 65,000 ‘regular cap’ H-1Bs, plus 20,000 ‘master’s cap’ H-1Bs per year. Such candidates must be registered by their employers in an annual H-1B lottery, which takes place in March.

Combating Fraud:

USCIS saw a large increase in the number of registrations submitted for the registration period of fiscal year 2024. “The large number of eligible registrations for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations — much larger than in previous years — has raised serious concerns that some may have tried to gain an unfair advantage by working together to submit multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary. This may have unfairly increased their chances of selection,” the USCIS has stated.

As a result, USCIS has “undertaken extensive fraud investigations” based on lottery submissions from the last two years, denied some petitions, and is “in the process” of referring some cases to federal prosecutors for possible crimes.

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