What the H-1B Cap Registration Means
The fiscal year H-1B start date is the first time petitioners and their sponsors can complete and submit an online H-1B registration form. Because a limited number of petitions are allowed, filers must get their forms registered online as quickly as possible.
The registration period begins at noon EST on March 1 and ends at noon EST on March 17. During those almost three weeks, those who wish to obtain an H-1B visa can submit their registrations, along with the $10 registration fee per registration submitted for each beneficiary. But that doesn’t guarantee a slot in the application process.
Instead, USCIS provides you with a confirmation number that you can use to track your registration (it does not work to track your case status online).
What You Should Be Preparing Now
Time is ticking down, and if you want to be ready for the March 1 start date, you must prepare now. You’ll need to create a registrant account if you're submitting your own registration. This applies to US employers and US agents, referred to as “registrants” by USCIS. You can create your new registrant account any time after noon EST on February 21. Once your account is created, you can add new clients anytime.
Beneficiary information can’t be added to the account until noon EST on March 1. At that time, you’ll submit your $10 fee and the registrations for your beneficiaries. You can submit all beneficiaries during the same online session.
Before you enter the session, ensure you have all the information necessary to register each beneficiary. You will be able to prepare, edit, and store your drafts, but because of the tight timeline, it’s safer to have everything ready ahead of time.
The Lottery Process
For the past several years, the cutoff date for registrations has provided substantially more requests than there are visas allocated. If this pattern continues and there are enough registrations by March 17, USCIS will use the lottery process to choose which petitioners to move forward with the visa application requests.
USCIS chooses the registrations, then notifies you via your myUSCIS online account whether yours was selected or not. In the event that there aren’t enough registrations to meet the allotment, every registration that was properly submitted during the initial period will be chosen. Either way, your account holder will be notified no later than March 31.
Note that any petitions that are cap subjects, including those eligible for advanced degree exemptions, must be filed by a petitioner named in the H-1B selection process. Advanced degree holders who have submitted their paperwork properly during the initial registration receive two chances to be chosen in the lottery process.
It’s showtime, and that means you should be doing everything in your power to be ready for the initial registration date of March 1, like calling Visa2US. At Visa2US, our legal experts know what USCIS expects and how you can prepare for a successful registration.
Contact us today to get started. We have the tips, knowledge, and experience to maximize your chances of obtaining an H-1B visa for the 2024 fiscal year, but the sooner you call, the better your possibilities become!