As the cap H-1B registration process for fiscal year (FY) 2023 closes, and the lottery is going to start, this may be a good time to look back at the results of the cap registrations from past fiscal years.
In FY 2020, 274,237 H-1B registrations were filed and 124,415 were selected to fill the 85,000 spots. That is a 45% selection rate overall:
- USCIS at first selected 106,100
- USCIS conducted the second round in August 2020 and selected 18,315 extra
In FY 2021, 308,613 registrations were filed and 131,970 were selected, meaning a 32% selection rate overall:
- USCIS at first selected 87,500
- USCIS conducted the second round in July 2021 and selected 27,717 extra
- Also, USCIS conducted the third round in November 2021 and selected 16,753 extra
Moreover, USCIS determines the number of registrations it will accept based on historical information about the number of petitions that should be selected and adjudicated to fill the 85,000-cap limit. However, starting around 2020, there have been circumstances that appear to have changed the calculations – leading USCIS to conduct additional selections.
A few critics of the electronic registration system have recommended that. Because registrations are so easy and inexpensive, extra registrations are filed by petitioners to increase the chance of selection. Not all those selected results in filed petitions. Others have suggested that more than one organization files for a similar individual. Sometimes in a coordinated effort and, ultimately if selected more than once, only one petition is filed.
FY 2023 Cap H-1B Registration Process
This year, maybe considering those criticisms, USCIS is focusing on petitioners who may be attempting to increase the chances of selection by gaming the system unfairly.
A confirmation has been added to the 2023 registration process expressing:
I further certify that this registration (or these registrations) reflects a legitimate job offer. And that I, or the organization for whose behalf this registration (or these registrations) is being submitted, have not worked with, or agreed to work with, another registrant, petitioner, agent, or other individual or entity to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection for the beneficiary or beneficiaries in this submission.
If USCIS finds the attestation was false, it will observe that such registrations were not properly submitted and, therefore, are ineligible. Denials or revocations also could follow, and false attestations could lead to appropriate investigations.
Of course, COVID-19 has also been a factor since 2020 and a few registrations might have been (and may still be) submitted for this year (and selected) that don’t do not result in petitions filed because petitioners’. Financial circumstances and conditions change and the potential H-1B employee may no longer be needed. Legitimate changes in circumstances shouldn’t result in investigations. Yet employers should be ready to explain why a selected registration didn’t result in a petition filed. Especially if there are more than a few such instances for any single company.