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The Immigration Observer

H-1B FY 2024 Cap Season: What you Need to Know

February 06, 2023

What is the H-1B Visa:

The H-1B visa grants temporary employment authorization to foreign workers who will engage in a specialty occupation in the United States. To be eligible for this visa, the foreign worker must have a bachelor's or higher degree (or foreign equivalent) in a field that is directly related to the position they will hold in the United States. The initial length of stay granted by the H-1B visa is typically three years, but it can be extended to a maximum total of six years (in certain circumstances H-1B status may be extended past the six-year maximum). 

What is a Specialty Occupation?

A specialty occupation requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Some examples of specialty fields which could support an H-1B visa include IT, finance, systems analysts, accounting, engineering, research scientists, and healthcare professionals. 

What is the H-1B Cap & Lottery:

There is an annual cap on the number of H-1B visas that the U.S. government can issue each fiscal year:  65,000 visas with an additional 20,000 visas for beneficiaries holding a U.S. advanced degree (master’s or higher).  These two categories are commonly known as the Regular Cap and the Advanced Degree Cap, respectively.  Due to the finite number of H-1B visas available under this quota system and the high demand for such visas in the U.S. labor market, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) conducts a lottery during which potential H-1B beneficiaries are randomly selected.

Beginning in 2020, USCIS utilizes an electronic registration process for the H-1B cap. Under this process, employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree cap, must first electronically register and pay the associated H-1B registration fee for each prospective beneficiary. Under this process, prospective petitioners, and their authorized representatives, who are seeking to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, complete a registration process that requires only basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker. USCIS then conducts a random lottery form the pool of registered prospective H-1B beneficiaries. The petitioning employer may then submit substantive H-1B petitions for selected individuals.

What is the Registration Process?

In order to submit an H-1B registration, the employer/prospective petitioner must first create a USCIS online account .

Prospective petitioners must use a “Registrant” account within myUSCIS to submit registrations. There are three (3) types of USCIS online accounts: (1) Applicant/petitioner/requestor account; (2) Attorney/Representative account; and (3) Registrant account. Employers will only be able to submit H-1B registrations with the Registrant Account.

After selecting “I am an H-1B registrant” account type, employers will not be able to add additional information until the initial registration period opens. Employers submitting their own registrations will enter their company information as part of their first H-1B registration. Employer registrants working with a representative will review company information that their representatives enter.

Once the registration period opens, employers will be able to complete the registration form for each prospective beneficiary. The registration form will ask only basic information, listed below.

Before submitting the registration form, the employer’s authorized signatory will be required to certify under penalty of perjury, that they have reviewed the registration and that all information contained therein is complete, true, and correct and that the company intends to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary named in the registration if the beneficiary is selected. The authorized signatory will be required to provide their electronic signature.

After registration, each registered beneficiary will be assigned a 19-digit confirmation number.

Information needed:

  • Company information
    • Legal business name
    • Doing Business As (d/b/a) name, if applicable
    • EIN
    • Primary U.S. office address
    • Legal name, title, and contact information (phone number & email address) of the company’s authorized signatory
  • Beneficiary information
    • Legal name
    • Gender
    • Date of birth
    • Confirmation whether the employer is requesting consideration under the Advanced Degree cap
      • The beneficiary must have earned or will earn a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution of higher education prior to the filing of the H-1B petition. In other words, a potential H-1B beneficiary who has not yet earned their master’s degree may still be registered under the Advanced Degree cap as long as they will receive their Master’s degree at the time of filing the H-1B petition.
    • Country of birth
    • Country of citizenship
    • Passport number

What is the Registration Fee?

$10 per prospective beneficiary

Timing for FY 2024 H-1B Cap:

  • February 21, 2023: Employers can create a USCIS online account, if they do not yet have one
  • March 1, 2023: Initial registration period opens. Employers can create and submit registrations.
  • March 17, 2023: Initial registration period will close at 12:00 pm (noon) EST
  • March 31, 2023: Intended date of selection notification

The H-1B petition must be filed within 90 days of selection notification.


  • Employers will only be able to submit H-1B registrations with the Registrant Account
  • Potential H-1B beneficiaries might include:
    • new hires;
    • F-1 students working pursuant to Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM OPT;
    • current employees who hold a different work visa such as the L-1 or TN;
    • certain employees working pursuant to an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). 
    • In assessing eligibility, employers should work with counsel to identify potential issues
  • Certain H-1B petitions are not subject to the annual cap.  A close assessment by qualified immigration counsel is necessary to determine whether the employer or H-1B worker is eligible for any available H‑1B cap exemptions.
  • We recommend a complete evaluation of the potential H-1B beneficiary’s case prior to registration – including the occupation, salary, location, beneficiary’s degree, etc.
  • Duplicate submissions:
    • A prospective petitioner may only have one registration submitted per beneficiary per fiscal year. Once the initial registration period has closed, if the prospective petitioner has more than one registration submitted for the same beneficiary, USCIS will invalidate all registrations submitted for that beneficiary by that prospective petitioner, or their authorized attorney or representative, from the selection process. This does not prevent other prospective petitioners or their representatives from submitting registrations for that same beneficiary.
    • If an employer discovers they or the representative submitted more than one registration for the same person and the initial registration period is still open (before noon EST on March 17, 2023), the employer or representative can go into their account and delete the extra submission(s) until there is only one registration per beneficiary. USCIS will not refund the $10 fee for deleted duplicate registrations.
    • If an employer discovers they or the representative submitted more than one registration for the same person and the initial registration period has closed (after noon EST on March 17, 2023), there is no way to correct this error. USCIS will remove all registrations submitted for the beneficiary by, or on behalf of, that prospective petitioner from the selection process. USCIS will not refund the $10 fee for a removed registration.

For more information regarding the H-1B visa category and H-1B lottery procedures, please contact our team at info@ltf-law.com.

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