The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the registration schedule for the fiscal year 2024 (FY 2024) H-1B cap season. The FY 2024 cap season will open at noon ET on March 1st, 2023. Therefore, employers should prepare for when registration opens.
The USCIS expects to receive more registrations than the available 85,000 annual cap. As a result, the USCIS must select which registrations will proceed. Just like in previous years, the agency will likely use a computerized lottery system to choose who will continue to the next step of filing a petition.
Employers interested in participating in the registration process must use their myUSCIS accounts to submit an electronic submission for each potential beneficiary. Employers participating for the first time can begin by setting up an account on February 21st, 2023, and throughout the registration period.
With an established myUSCIS employer account, employers can submit up to 250 beneficiaries in each registration setting. However, employers should remember that the USCIS recently proposed an increase in fees, raising the registration fee from $10 per beneficiary to $215. Luckily, this 2,050% increase will not take effect before this year’s registration period. As such, employers can take advantage of the current rates during this registration period.
The submission period will begin on March 1st, 2023, and close on March 17th, 2023. During this period, employers must create and sign each registration submission. Once drafted, the USCIS system will generate a passcode that employers may use to review, approve, and sign each registration electronically. Upon signing the registration, they must pay the $10 registration fee.
After the submission period closes, the USCIS will perform at least two lotteries to select enough beneficiaries to meet the annual cap. One lottery will include all registered beneficiaries, regardless of their education level, to meet the 65,000 regular caps. The second will consist of only advanced degree holders who did not move forward in the previous lottery. This step ensures the USCIS meets the advanced degree cap of 20,000 reserved for holders of a U.S. Master’s Degree or higher.
The USCIS may perform additional lotteries if they do not meet the registration cap on the first try. However, this practice has seen less use as the agency has adjusted to the number of registrants that fail to file subsequent petitions. For example, the USCIS attempts to notify employers via email by March 31st, 2023, notifying them of selected registrations.
Successful employers must complete and file the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9). However, this process often proves complicated due to the number of submittable documentation for verifying authorization. The best way to ensure compliance is to incorporate an electronic I-9 management tool. It can guide employers throughout the process, deliver convenient reminders, and provide safe storage of forms and documentation.
Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.