USCIS will start to accept FY 2023 H-1B Cap Registration for employment on Tuesday, 1st March 2022 at 12:00 pm ET. Employers and their immigration counsel will have until Friday, 18th March 2022 at 12:00 pm ET to draft, review, e-sign, and submit their registrations to the agency.
What employers need to do during the FY 2023 H-1B Cap registration period
If your association will be working with immigration counsel to draft and submit H-1B cap registrations, the company should do the following:
Maintain an “H-1B registrant” account in the USCIS online system
Sponsoring employers should have an H-1B registrant account at USCIS.gov, even if they will be addressed by counsel during the registration process. See Fragomen’s FAQ to setting up an employer account for more information.
Identify H-1B beneficiaries as soon as possible
If your association has not yet provided your immigration counsel with a complete list of foreign nationals to be registered for the H-1B cap, it should do so as soon as possible so that registrations can be submitted by the March 18 deadline.
Promptly review each registration drafted by immigration counsel
Whenever your lawyer finishes drafting an H-1B cap registration for your organization, the company’s designated signatory should log into the USCIS system to review, approve and e-sign the registration. This is also an opportunity to decide if any changes should be made to the organization’s registrations. The registration period is brief, so the signatory should review registrations as soon as requested to do so by the attorney. See H-1B cap registration FAQ for instructions on reviewing and approving registrations.
Prepare for possible technology slowdowns
The USCIS system is expected to have a very large number of clients between March 1 and March 18. This could result in slowdowns and technical glitches. Notify your team and the USCIS help desk if your organization encounters any issues. The risk of slowdowns increases as the registration deadline approaches. Prompt completion and submission of cap registrations can help to minimize last-minute issues. If the system becomes inoperable for any reason, USCIS has the authority to suspend registration. Should that happen, the agency would give employers further instructions.
What happens after the registration period closes
After the registration period closes on 18th March 2022. USCIS will run two cap lotteries to select the beneficiaries for whose sake an H-1B cap petition can be filed. The first lottery will contain all registered H-1B beneficiaries. USCIS will utilize this lottery to choose enough registrations to meet the regular H-1B cap of 65,000. The second lottery will contain all registered “master’s cap” beneficiaries who were not chosen in the first lottery. USCIS will utilize this lottery to select enough registrations to meet the H-1B cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. Subsequent lotteries are possible if the number of H-1B petitions received as a result of the initial lotteries is insufficient to meet the FY 2023 quota.
USCIS plans to inform employers and immigration counsel of the lottery results by March 31. For each cap registration, USCIS should send an email to the employer’s approved signatory and immigration counsel. The email will notify the recipient that there has been a change in the status of a cap registration. To learn the lottery results, your lawyer and your organization’s approved signatory should get to their my.USCIS.gov account and review the status with every beneficiary.
USCIS will start to accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of lottery selectees on 1st April 2022. The petition filing period will end no earlier than 30th 2022. All FY 2023 H-1B cap petitions for beneficiaries selected in the March lotteries must be submitted during this period.