The H-1B Visa 2023-24 season window is set to close on March 17, 2023. It opened at noon Eastern Time on March 1, 2023. USCIS officials have said, "if we receive enough registrations by March 17, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts." In the event that they do not receive enough registrations then "...all registrations that were properly submitted in the initial registration period will be selected." The agency intends to notify account holders by March 31st. It's important to remember that petitions can 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. Annual Limits H-1B Visa 2023-2024 How it works is that USCIS will conduct the lottery and choose 65,000 for the regular cap and 20,000 for the H-1B master’s cap who will proceed to filing and processing. Within 90 days of being selected, the selected registrants’ employers will then file their petitions with the USCIS for processing along with the appropriate filing fees and supporting documents. Those selected must wait until October 1, 2023 to begin working. How Will Tech Layoffs Affect H-1B Registrations The widespread tech job layoffs at Google and other tech companies, over 257,000 since last year, have people wondering how it will affect H-1B registrations this year. "Foreign-born workers, including green-card holders, naturalized citizens and those on temporary work visas, account for nearly one-quarter of all workers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, according to a 2019 estimate from the American Immigration Council, up from 16% in 2000. If a laid-off foreign worker on a temporary visa cannot find alternative employment within 60 days or apply/transfer for an alternative visa, they must leave the United States. Similarly, in other cases, those who have been laid off while outside the country find themselves in a situation where they cannot reenter due to not having a valid visa since the 60-day grace period is not granted to them. "Talent demand is at an all-time high in the United States," says VisaNation attorney Shilpa Malik. "Companies continue to struggle to find qualified and able U.S. workers in professional fields. As such, we see no downturn in demand for H-1B workers. On the contrary, the recent tech lay-off will give smaller and mid-sized companies the incentive to submit more H-1B registrations with the hope of getting lucky this time around with the H-1B lottery. In fact, most likely, the amount of registrations for the 2024 H-1B cap will surpass the last 3 years." Considering Prospective Employees for the H-1B Season If you're an employer, you may want to keep in mind the following types of prospective employees who have not held H-1B status in the past and would be willing to start working on October 1st: \tStudents or interns who have F1 visa status (working under OPT) and want to change to H-1B \tSome L-1 Intracompany Transferees who are not qualified for green cards as multi-national managers \tCertain E-3 visa holders \tSpouses in H-4, L-2 or E-2 status \tForeign nationals not selected in past H-1B seasons Bypassing the H1B Registration Process H-1B registration is not required for certain employees. They include professionals with H-1B status who are changing employers while still within their six-year H-1B allocation. Moreover, professionals that have been counted against the cap and need an extension of their approved status. Also, those who work for cap-exempt organizations (not-for-profits, educational organizations, etc.) How We Can Help The VisaNation Law Group team has an excellent track record of gaining approvals in complex H-1B cases, including those sponsored by startup companies. VisaNation Law Group attorneys offer free consultations to specific individuals and businesses looking to retain a law firm for employment-based immigration petitions as a courtesy to prospective clients. Schedule a consultation to get started today!