The annual H-1B lottery was conducted during the last week of March 2023 and now the official registration count has been released. USCIS announced on March 27, 2023 that for the H-1B FY2024 (March 1, 2023- March 20, 2023) it received 758,994 eligible registrations (compared to 474,421 registrations in FY2023) and that 110,791 applications were selected. The first round of the lottery concluded on March 27th, 2023 and selected applicants were notified. Employers selected during the lottery are able to file complete petitions beginning April 1st until June 30th, 2023. There is a 90-day filing window to file your petition. Employers are not permitted to transfer these registrations.
The Numbers Breakdown
In total, USCIS received 780,884 H-1B registrations but of that number, only 758,994 were considered eligible. The pool of registrations that were not considered eligible were either duplicate registrations, did not complete payment or were not valid for other reasons. The number of eligible H-1B applicants with only one H-1B registration was 350,103 (filed registrations with only one employer and one coinciding job offer). The number of H-1B applicants with multiple H-1B registrations was 408,891 (had registrations with more than one employer/ multiple H-1B offers). Out of the total pool of H-1B registrations, USCIS chose 110,791 to fulfill the H1B cap of 85,000. They selected an additional 25,791 registrations (110,791-85,000) to account for denials, non-filings, and other factors.
Note: USCIS has not provided any information regarding the breakdown of H1B registrations between the Masters quota and Regular quota, nor have they disclosed any other metrics related to employers. While such data has been released in previous years, this year it was not included.
Odds of Selection
USCIS Commentary on Registrations Submitted
According to USCIS, the significant surge in the number of multiple H-1B registrations submitted by employers for the same applicant has caused them some serious concerns. USCIS suspects that some employers may have exploited the system. To put the numbers in perspective, the number of multiple H-1B registrations submitted by employers for FY 2023 was 165,180, which skyrocketed to 408,891 this year. This means that employers submitted an additional 243,711 multiple H-1B registrations, resulting in a 147% increase.
Reaction from AILA and VisaNation Team
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is urging the Biden administration to take immediate action to improve the integrity of the H-1B registration system, which has become vulnerable to exploitation in recent years. AILA supports the steps taken by USCIS to create a streamlined registration and lottery process, but the flaws in the system have become impossible to ignore.
As has been the subject of countless debates, the annual H-1B cap is extremely low and does little to meet the demand for qualified foreign workers. Year after year, the demand for the H-1B visa numbers increases and far exceeds the low supply. It is this undeniably high demand that necessitates the H-1B registration lottery each year. However, this system is untenable, given the record increase in registrations every year since it was introduced in 2021. For example, the FY 2024 cap saw a record 758,994 registrations, an increase of 284,573 from the FY 2023 cap. Needless to say, reform is long overdue and Congress needs to address this demand by increasing the number of H1B visas.
The recently released USCIS numbers for the FY2024 registration process show that there were 780,884 registrations, but only 110,791 selections. Of the registrations, 408,891 were submitted by multiple employers on behalf of the same individuals, a 147% increase from last fiscal year. AILA is calling for USCIS to work with the Department of State to ensure that every available visa is used, to change the H-1B lottery to be based on individuals with bona fide job offers rather than registrations, and to investigate and prosecute those who submit fraudulent registrations. AILA is also calling on Congress to revise the H-1B visa statute to better meet the needs of the American workforce. The key action items are for USCIS to act quickly to ensure fairness in the H-1B registration system, investigate and prosecute fraudulent registrations, and for Congress to revise the H-1B visa statute.
Take the Next Steps with VisaNation
The next step in the H-1B process is to file your completed petition. The window to file it closes on June 30, 2023. Learn about our H-1B visa processing fees.
We offer free consultations to certain qualified H-1B clients, allowing you to speak with VisaNation H-1B visa lawyers. Contact us to learn how we can help you get approval of your H-1B petition in a timely and efficient manner.