02 Aug 2023

United States

USCIS Completes the Second Round of Selections for FY 2024 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions; Also Provides Updated Information on Number of Registration Applications Selected

Following its announcement late last week that it would require additional FY 2024 H-1B cap registrations to reach the H-1B numerical allocations for this year, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 31 that it had completed the random selection process, or lotteries and anticipates that the agency selected enough additional registrations to reach the FY 2024 quota.  The USCIS further announced that it has notified all prospective petitioners with registrations selected in this second round of selections that they may now file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the selected registration application.  If an employer that filed a registration application has not been notified that it is eligible to file an H-1B petition, the registration application was not selected in the lotteries.  For registrations that have been selected, the cap-subject H-1B petitions can be filed from August 2, 2023 through October 31, 2023 and must include a copy of the selection notice with the petition.

USCIS also provided updated information about the number of registration applications filed and selected for FY 2024.  The number of registration applications selected is now 188,400, which is an increase of 77,609 over the number of applications initially selected in March.  As described in our Alert on July 28, the number of registration applications filed by multiple entities for the same beneficiary this year was unusually high at 408,891 and this likely played a role in the initial round of H-1B petitions not reaching the relevant allocations.  The USCIS also notes that the volume of applications initially selected in March was lower than in previous years because of a higher anticipated petition filing rate and more projected H-1B1 visa approvals for Chilean and Singaporean nationals.  Since the number of registration applications selected in this second round is substantial, it is unlikely that a third round of H-1B cap registration selections will be made this year.

Finally, the USCIS comments that the large number of registration applications filed for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations raises “serious concerns” that collusion may have occurred to gain an unfair advantage in the registration application process.  The USCIS further states that it has already undertaken “extensive fraud investigations,” has denied and revoked petitions as a result of these investigations, and continues to make law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.  USCIS adds that it believes that the decreased filing rate for FY 2024 H-1B cap petitions when compared to the three previous fiscal years indicates that these investigations are having an impact.

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