The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced that it has received a record number of 758,994 eligible registrations for the H-1B cap season for the fiscal year 2024, which began in March 2023. This is a significant increase compared to the previous year’s registrations, which was 483,927, representing a 60% increase.
The H-1B visa program is designed to allow US employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher. The annual H-1B cap determines the number of visas available each fiscal year, with a limit of 85,000. This limit is divided into two categories: 65,000 regular H-1B visas and 20,000 for those with a master’s degree or higher from a US institution.
The USCIS has already notified the H-1B cap lottery winners, and they have until June 30, 2023, to submit their full H-1B cap petition for adjudication. However, the USCIS has also acknowledged that there may be “misuse” of the H-1B cap registration system, and it expects to investigate cases of fraudulent filing of multiple H-1B petitions. Such cases could lead to both civil and criminal penalties.
The online registration system was launched in March 2020, and USCIS will continue to update the H-1B cap winners list. Additional winners may be selected in subsequent rounds until March 2024. USCIS is not expected to notify any H-1B lottery entrants of non-selection until all 85,000 H-1B cap approval notices have been issued.
In conclusion, the surge in the number of H-1B cap registrations for FY 2024 reflects the ongoing demand for highly skilled foreign workers in the US. The USCIS is committed to ensuring the integrity of the H-1B visa program and will take action against any fraudulent activity. The H-1B cap lottery winners now have until June 30, 2023, to submit their full petitions for adjudication, and additional winners may be selected in subsequent rounds until March 2024.
See below for how many H-1B visa registrations there have been for the past several fiscal years: