As of noon eastern time on March 1st, USCIS has officially opened the registration period for H-1B visas for fiscal year (FY) 2024. The registration period lasts through noon EST on March 17th, and late registrations will not be accepted unless the registration cap is not reached.
During the registration period, prospective applicants and their representatives can submit their information through the USCIS online portal. Registrations do not need to be completed in one sitting and do not need to be finalized until the deadline. However, it is recommended that registrants or their representatives complete the process as soon as they are confident the registration is complete and accurate to ensure technical problems do not prevent the submission from being registered.
Registering during this period is the only way to pursue a new H-1B visa. If there are not enough registrants to meet the 65,000 H-1B visa cap limit, all registrants will be invited to submit an application for a visa. However, if the number of registrants exceeds the 65,000 “regular cap” and the 20,000 exception cap for advanced degree holders, USCIS will perform a lottery. All complete registrations are entered into this lottery, and 65,000 and 20,000 registrants are randomly selected to apply. Additional lotteries may be conducted from the remaining unselected registrants if necessary until the cap is reached
In most years, this cap is exceeded quickly. USCIS reported receiving 483,927 H-1B registrations for FY 2023; a similar volume will likely be seen this year. Failing to register precludes a candidate from applying for an H-1B visa by barring them from consideration during this lottery.
How to Register for H-1B Visas
Registering for an H-1B visa is a time-sensitive and precise process. Registrants and their representatives must create an account on the USCIS online portal if they do not already have one. The registering party must provide identifying information about the registrant, including:
- Complete legal name
- Country of citizenship
- Country of birth
- Passport number
- The hiring organization
- The organization’s EIN
- The organization’s address
If a representative submits the information on their behalf, they must also identify themselves and provide their contact information. After providing this information, you must pay a $10 fee per registrant to complete the process.
Making any mistakes in this process can cause the registration to be thrown out. Ensuring only one party submits this registration is important, as duplicate submissions can be invalidated and discarded.
Assistance for Preparation, Registration, and Applications
Registering for an opportunity to apply for an H-1B visa is just the first step of the process. If the registrant is chosen, the petitioner has a limited period to submit a complete and accurate application on their behalf. It is considered a best practice to have the information necessary for a successful application on hand when submitting the registration to ensure chosen registrants do not risk having their applications denied.
Businesses considering registering one or more applicants for the H-1B visa lottery can benefit from working with an experienced immigration law firm. Immigration attorneys with experience in the H-1B process can ensure that all steps of the process are completed accurately and in a timely fashion.
At Litwin & Smith, we offer comprehensive services surrounding H-1B visas. We are available to assist with registering and applying for these visas and supporting employers who wish to hire a non-U.S. citizen for employment. Our attorneys understand the importance of every registration and application. They provide dedicated time and attention to every registrant to ensure mistakes and delays do not disqualify them from consideration for an H-1B visa and immigration to work for their prospective U.S. employer.
Call Today for Your 15-Minute Consultation
At the immigration law firm Litwin & Smith, our skilled immigration attorneys have more than three decades of experience helping employers register and apply for employment visas on behalf of their chosen candidates. We understand the legal and administrative requirements facing employment visa applicants, petitioners, and employers nationwide. Our firm is available to support you through the registration and application process. Learn more about how we can assist during the FY 2024 H-1B cap period by scheduling your 15-minute consultation with our experienced attorneys today.