1. What do prospective Employers (petitioners) and Employees (beneficiaries) need to do for the upcoming registration period?
Prospective employers/petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions (including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption) must first electronically register and pay the associated H-1B registration fee for each prospective beneficiary.
USCIS will open an initial registration period for a minimum of 14 calendar days each fiscal year. The H-1B selection process will then be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. An H-1B cap-subject petition may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for the beneficiary named in the H-1B petition was selected in the H-1B registration process.
We recommend that you contact an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with the process.
2. When can I register?
Petitioners and registrants can begin creating their H-1B registrant accounts as early as February 21, 2023 (12:00 noon EST). However, Registrants will need to wait until March 1 to create and submit H-1B registrations. The initial registration period for FY 2024 will open on March 1, 2023 at 12:00 noon EST and run through March 17, 2023 (12:00 noon EST). There is no requirement to register on the day the initial registration period opens. You will need to register within the registration period.
3. What happens after I register?
USCIS assigns a confirmation number to each registration submitted for the FY 2024 H-1B cap. If USCIS receives enough registrations by March 17, they will randomly select registrations and send notifications via myUSCIS online accounts. Selections occur after the initial registration period closes. Therefore, there is no requirement to register on the day the initial registration period opens.
USCIS intends to notify selected registrants by March 31, 2023. If you receive a notification from USCIS, then Congratulations! You were selected. If you do not hear from USCIS you were likely not selected.
4. What happens if I am selected?
If you are selected during the registration process, then your Employer can file your H-1B petition on your behalf no sooner than April 1, 2023. The start date on your H-1B petition will be October 1, 2023. If you are on an F-1 visa with Optional Practical Training (OPT) and if your status will expire prior to October 1, you are eligible for the cap-gap extension as long as you file the H-1B petition prior to the expiration date of your F-1 OPT Employment Authorization card.
5. What if I am not selected?
If you are not selected, then you should consider other possible options. Maybe you can obtain F-1 (student) status and request day one CPT (curricular practical training); or maybe you are eligible for a STEM OPT extension? There are other nonimmigrant visa options such as J-1, E-2, TN, O-1, etc. which may or may not apply to you. You can take a look at this blog post for ideas on what to do if you are not selected in the H-1B FY 2024 registration. We also recommend that you contact an experienced immigration attorney who can discuss possible options.