United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will hold a second random selection process or set of lotteries to fill the FY 2024 numerical allocation for new or cap-subject H-1B petitions. In March of this year, USCIS held an initial set of lotteries (one for the 65,000 regular quota and one for the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree set-aside) among the electronic registration applications received for the FY 2024 H-1B cap. Employers whose registration applications were chosen in the lottery were then invited to file an H-1B petition with the USCIS during a filing period that ended on June 30, 2023. Of the 758,994 eligible registration applications received, 110,791 were selected in the lotteries.
The fact that USCIS will be holding a second set of lotteries means that not enough petitions were filed or approved by the agency during the filing period to fill the total quota of 85,000 for new H-1B petitions. This is not entirely surprising given the fact that of the total eligible registration applications received, 408,891 were for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations. The USCIS has voiced its concern over these statistics and the misuse or manipulation of the H-1B cap registration process that may have occurred this year.
The second set of lotteries will include all registration applications that were received in March of this year but were not selected in the first set of lotteries, unless USCIS has disqualified the registration application on the basis of an alleged misuse of the program. The USCIS has not indicated how many applications will be selected in this second set of lotteries, nor when the lotteries will be held. It is anticipated that this number will be significantly higher than the number selected in 2021, the last time that further lotteries were held. Based on past practice, it is also possible that the lotteries will be held very soon and possibly as early as this weekend.
Employers whose registration applications are selected in the second set of lotteries will have their myUSCIS accounts updated with a selection notice and will be informed that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the selected registration application. Information about where the H-1B petition should be filed will also be provided, as will the time frame during which the petition must be filed. No action on the part of an employer that filed a registration application that was not selected in the initial set of lotteries is required at this time.