H-1B Lottery in 2023: Registration Period is Almost Here!
H-1B is a nonimmigrant work visa for employees in specialty occupations, allowing them to live and work in the United States. This is a great option for people who have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience and who will work in jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, H-1B visas are subject to annual numerical limitations, and the demand for H-1B visa is much greater than the supply. This means that in order to apply for the H-1B category, employers must first electronically register their candidates with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Registered candidates will then be randomly selected through a process known as “the H-1B lottery.” If selected, the candidate’s employer may submit a visa petition for the H-1B classification to the USCIS.
It is important to remember that the registration period is a once-a-year opportunity and normally takes place within a brief period in March and must be completed by March 31. The USCIS has not yet announced the dates for the registration period for 2023.
Given this deadline, now is a good time to start evaluating which employees may benefit from H-1B visa sponsorship. Most often, the employees in need of an H-1B are those in F-1 student status using either an Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) for work authorization. However, we urge you to also consider employees with a pending asylum application or who are currently in DACA status. This is because the DACA program is currently in limbo awaiting a federal court decision on its future, and H-1B visa is often a more secure option for remaining in the United State than DACA. Similarly, given the massive backlog in asylum application processing, a pending asylum application may take years to be decided, causing uncertainty and frustration. The H-1B visa option helps reduce the risk of losing employees due to loss of work authorization or removal from the United States.
Seeking H-1B classification is a complex process, requiring intimate understanding of the U.S. immigration laws and policies. And although the lottery registration process itself is relatively uncomplicated, a simple error may cause disqualification and ultimate denial.
We are a team of experienced immigration lawyers who have been helping employers of all sizes – both Fortune 500 companies and smaller employers – with crafting creative strategies for the workforce. We have successfully secured H-1B classification for thousands of individuals and stand ready to guide you through every step of the process. If you have employees or new hires who could benefit from H-1B status, please get in touch with us, and our attorneys would be happy to speak to you.