Applying Lessons Learned in the Fiscal Year 2023 H-1b Cap

H-1b Cap
December 8, 2022

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B registrations for FY 2024 beginning on March 1, 2024. In preparation for this, employers should start filing well ahead of time.

The number of available H-1B visas caps out at 65,000, though another 20,000 remains available for beneficiaries with advanced degrees. If the USCIS receives excess registrations from March 1 to March 18, which it likely will, it will hold a lottery. All H-1B registrations not chosen in the lottery can expect rejections of their petitions. As a result, there are typically many more registrations than available visas. Those with beneficiaries selected in the lottery can take various steps to ensure their petition gets approved.

After confirming whether the lottery selected your beneficiary, you should quickly file a petition. Filing swiftly can improve the odds of your petition getting approved. However, receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) will give you more time to respond while assuring you will still receive a decision before October 1.

Another way to better prepare when filing a petition is by obtaining a Foreign Credential Evaluation. This evaluation will determine whether foreign degrees and/or experience are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the United States. In addition, this evaluation will make your petition more likely to receive immediate approval because RFEs often involve a beneficiary’s qualifications.

Many try to obtain these evaluations as the time to file H-1B petitions approaches. As such, the companies providing these services become increasingly busy. Therefore, if you want an assessment, do not delay until the last minute. Your petition may get denied if you need a Foreign Credential Evaluation and fail to obtain one.

The chance of your petition getting a quick approval increases if your education and experience match the position you will fill. Though petitions can get approved regardless of the qualifications, it often proves more challenging.

Some beneficiaries also try to improve their chances by filing with multiple employers. However, this method is not a good idea because it can hurt the companies’ reputations with the IRS. Instead, it is best to have candidates sign a statement agreeing that they are not filing through another company. This statement can help protect your company if the candidate turns out to have done so.

Final Thoughts

There are generally far more registrations for the lottery than available visas. If you get selected, ensure your petition gets approved so you will not have to wait to register again next year. We have given a few tips in this article that should increase the odds that your petition is approved. Remember that if your petition is approved, you must complete Form I-9 for your new employee. This step can be confusing with the frequently changing regulations. However, an electronic I-9 management system can help with this by guiding you through every step of the process. It will then safely and securely store the form and any accompanying documentation.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.