The annual H-1B lottery registration window has officially closed (was extended to 5 p.m. Eastern on Monday, March 20th this year, due to technical issues on USCIS' site). USCIS will carry out the lottery now until winners are notified on March 31st. 65,000 are allotted for the regular cap and 20,000 for the H-1B masters cap. According to Shilpa Malik, lead attorney at VisaNation, "Applicants have to file the petition by June 30th, hence within 90 days if selected in the first round." There is the possibility for another round, however, last year there was only one round. By comparison, in 2021, there were 3 rounds conducted. How Will I Know If I Was Selected? You will know if you were selected in the H-1B lottery because it will have a status attached to your case. The following include: \tSubmitted: This means your petition has been submitted and USCIS is still considering your registration. \tSelected: Congrats! Your registration was selected in the lottery and your sponsor can file an I-129 petition after April 1, 2023. USCIS may allocate different filing deadlines to registrants chosen to ensure the smooth processing of all cap-subject cases. USCIS will indicate the filing deadline on the notice. \tNot Selected: USCIS did not select your registration but all registrations USCIS hasn’t denied will either be “Selected” or remain “Submitted” until the end of the fiscal year. If USCIS hasn’t chosen your registration, you will not see “Not Selected” on your registration until October 1, 2023. \tDenied: You will only see this status if a sponsor submitted more than one registration for the same beneficiary. In this case, USCIS will deny all registrations submitted by this sponsor for this beneficiary. In the coming weeks, some will change to “selected,” “denied,” or stay “submitted.” If USCIS needs to increase the registrations for either cap during the fiscal year, it will select more registrations from the “submitted” pool. After October 1, 2023, the remaining “submitted” registrations will change to “not selected.” Remember, if your petition is selected, the earliest that you can file your petition is April 1st, 2023. Past H-1B Selection Rates Over the past 10 years, the average H-1B denial rate has been 17.9%. Last year, a total of 483,927 registrations were submitted and out of that number 356,327 (74%) were not selected and 127,600 (26%) were selected. The year before that (FY 2022), a total of 308,613 registrations were submitted and 193,396 out of that were not selected while 115,217 were selected. Can you guess which were the top employers with approvals? Last year, Tata Consultancy Services had the highest number of total continuing approvals last year, followed by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Infoys, Apple, Deloitte, Cognizant, and Intel, according to the USCIS Employer Data Hub. How to Correctly File the H-1B Cap-Subject Petition Step 1. You'll need to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, (including the H Classification Supplement starting on page 13 and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption starting on page 19). Step 2. The start date indicated must be October 1, 2023 or later (6 months or less from the receipt date of the petition). If these dates aren't correct, your petition will most likely be rejected or denied. Step 3. Include a copy of the H-1B Registration Selection Notice. Be sure also to include the Beneficiary Confirmation Number on the H Classification Supplement. Step 4. Double-check that all the information that was on the electronic registration process matches with the complete petition you prepared. If some information does not match, it is important to include an explanation along with supporting evidence explaining the change. If you fail to do so, you risk having your petition rejected or denied. Step 5. Be sure to sign all forms in the proper location. Step 6. Pay the required fees. There are certain additional fees for some H nonimmigrants. For example, certain H-1B or H-1B1 petitioners with more than 25 employees have to pay the ACWIA fee of $1,500. There are certain exemptions to having to pay the ACWIA fee for H-1B petitions. These organizations are not required to pay the fee: \tInstitution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965; \tNon-profit entity that is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965; \tNonprofit research organization or governmental research organization; \tPrimary or secondary educational institution; or \tNon-profit entity which engages in an established curriculum-related clinical training program for students. Also, not required to pay the fee when a petitioner files its second or subsequent request for an extension of stay with the same employer for a foreign worker, files an amended petition that does not contain any requests to extend the validity of the petition it seeks to amend or files again only to correct a USCIS error (no requests to extend validity can be in these petitions). 7. At the time of filing, be sure to include all the required documents and evidence. Also, be sure that the LCA corresponds o the position in your petition. 8. Mail your H-1B petition at the correct service center, as indicated on your Registration Selection Notice. Failure to mail it to the correct location can result in the petition getting rejected or denied. Note about Premium Processing: This service is currently available for all H-1B petitions. The cost is an additional $2,500 and guarantees an adjudication time of 15 calendar days. How to Organize Your H-1B Package Below is the order in which USCIS prefers to have the documents sorted. It is highly advised to have an immigration attorney compile your H-1B petition to avoid any unnecessary errors. \tForm G-28 (if represented by an attorney or accredited representative) \tCopy of the Registration Selection Notice for the Beneficiary Named in the Petition \tForm I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker \tAddendums/Attachments \tH Classification Supplement to Form I-129 \tH-1B and H-1B1 Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement \tAll supporting documentation to establish eligibility. Provide a table of contents for supporting documentation and separate the items as listed in the table. \tArrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) if the beneficiary is in the United States \tSEVIS Form I-20 if the beneficiary is a current or former F-1 student or F-2 dependent \tForm I-566 if the beneficiary is a current A or G nonimmigrant \tDepartment of Labor certified LCA, Form ETA 9035 \tEmployer/attorney/representative letter(s) \tOther supporting documentation VisaNation Law Group’s Attorney Fee for H-1B Visa 2023-24 Season Since the stages are now tiered, and only certain companies will eventually file the complete petitions, the legal fees will be as follows: \tOne: $550 for the initial registration process, which includes all preliminary case analyses required to file the case, such as S.O.C., duties, documents, educational check, evaluations, if necessary, FEIN, etc. \tTwo: $2,500 will be due if USCIS selects the petition in the lottery for filing, which includes all form/support letter preparation plus case filing within the timeframe \tThree: $500–$1,500 for responding to a Request For Evidence (R.F.E.) – due only if USCIS issues an RFE on your case.