On March 27, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received enough electronic registrations to meet the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 H-1B numerical allocations and that the initial selection process was complete. This also includes the advanced degree exemption registrations commonly referred to as the “Master’s Cap.” Petitioners’ online accounts will show one of four statuses for each beneficiary registered: submitted, selected, denied, or invalidated due to failed payment. According to USCIS, the statuses have the following meanings:
Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.
Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
Denied: Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid.
If a registrant’s name has not been selected for the H-1B cap pool yet, that person has not necessarily been rejected either. USCIS may still consider the registrant’s name until Oct. 1, 2023, or until they announce the cap quota has been filled. A registrant’s name may still be selected if USCIS is unable to process a selected H-1B cap petition.
Comparison of FY 2024 Selection with Previous Years
For the FY 2022 H-1B cap, USCIS received 308,613 registrations and initially selected 87,500 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations. USCIS conducted a second selection in July 2021 of an additional 27,717 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection. USCIS also conducted a third selection in November 2021 of an additional 16,753 registrations. This resulted in a total of 131,970 selected registrations for FY22.
For the FY 2023 H-1B cap, USCIS received 483,927 registrations and selected 127,600 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2023 numerical allocations.
In recent years, USCIS has more accurately predicted the number of registrations required to meet the numerical allocations for the H-1B cap, reducing the need for a second selection. Therefore, while a second selection for the FY 2024 cap is a possibility, it may be unlikely given USCIS’s past actions.
Next Steps for Petitioners
Petitioners with registrants who have been selected in the registration process are eligible to submit H-1B cap-subject petitions. The petitioners can file the petition only for the individual mentioned in the selected registration notice. During the filing period, which will be a minimum of 90 days starting April 1, 2023, the petitioners must submit their H-1B cap-subject petitions in hard copy and include a printed copy of the registration selection notice. The registration notice will specify the USCIS office where the petitioner should send their H-1B cap-subject petition by mail.
Employers should evaluate the current immigration status expirations of their registrants, whether they were selected or not, to determine appropriate next steps. Employers and beneficiaries should also be mindful of how international travel plans during the H-1B cap season may impact the petition process.
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