The Registration Window
The H-1B registration period is tightly run, with a strict start and end date and time. Employers who wish to register their potential beneficiaries have until March 17, 2023, at noon Eastern Standard Time.
In the meantime, Silicon Valley’s mega tech layoff roll-out left tens of thousands of foreign workers without jobs. These individuals are in the US on H-1B visas and face deportation if they can’t find another employer to sponsor them.
But an alternative route is to obtain a new H-1B visa, which means all of these workers who remain without parallel jobs will be entering the lottery process once again. The difference is that, instead of a tech job, they’ll accept employment from other employers in vacancies where their skills can be of assistance outside of places like Google, Amazon, and Meta.
The Standard Applicants, Plus Those Seeking New Employment Visas
When registration is closed, USCIS completes a lottery, choosing applicants randomly until the cap of 85,000 H-1B visas has been reached. Each year since the online registration process first opened in 2020, the number of applicants registering has greatly exceeded the maximum number of visas available.
This year, the registrants are expected to include the hundreds of thousands of standard applicants plus those who were laid off and are trying to obtain an H-1B to stay in the US.
Since the registration fee is only $10, it’s easy for employers to offer employment to these individuals contingent on their lottery selection. And because they have already passed the rigorous requirements to attain a visa and are in the US, they are preferred over the unknown worker in another country.
How This Affects Your Lottery Chances
The selection process takes place once the window closes. If your registration is correctly completed, you will enter the lottery. The first drawing includes everyone who submitted their petitions online without any problems. Of those individuals, 65,000 randomly-chosen petitioners continue the H-1B visa application process. After that selection, those with advanced degrees are automatically entered into a second lottery, where 20,000 more are chosen.
The more applicants who correctly submit their petitions, the lower your odds of selection become. But if you have an advanced degree, you have a greater opportunity to attain the coveted H-1B. Registrants are notified of their status no later than March 31, 2022.
You may log in to your online portal to see whether your petition was one of those selected in the lottery. After your registration is reviewed, you’ll receive one of the following status changes:
● Submitted - You submitted your registration, and it will enter the lottery process. Even if the lottery is over, this remains as submitted, and you are eligible to be entered into any subsequent lotteries during that fiscal year.
● Selected - Your registration was chosen in the lottery, and you may begin filing an H-1B cap petition.
● Not Selected - Your petition was not chosen during the lottery process, and you may not file an H-1B cap petition at this time.
● Denied - USCIS is cracking down on beneficiaries who have multiple registrations submitted by different petitioners. These are considered duplicate registrations and are automatically denied, making every registration for that person invalid for that fiscal year.
● Invalidated-Failed Payment - In these submissions, the registration was received, but the payment method did not go through. It may have been declined or not reconciled. For whatever reason, if your payment is not successful, your entry will not go into the lottery. If you find this out before the window closes, you can correct it and resubmit your registration.
The window has closed, and you can check your status on your online portal. Whatever it is, you’ll need an immigration expert to take the next steps. At Visa2US, we’re here to guide you if you are chosen in the lottery. Correctly completing the paperwork is critical to your visa approval, and we can ensure you submit each step optimally.
But if you weren’t selected, you’re not without options. Talk to one of our friendly professionals, and we’ll listen to your situation and provide you with your choices. Our experts at Visa2US are available year-round, 24/7. Contact us before you take one more step toward your visa goals!