May 9, 2023

Navigating the H1B Visa Lottery - Insights for FY 2023 and Beyond

Navigating the H1B Visa Lottery - Insights for FY 2023 and Beyond

An H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows highly skilled foreign nationals to work in specialty occupations in the United States for a temporary period. 

To obtain an H1B visa, an employer in the US must first sponsor the foreign national by submitting a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the US Department of Labor (DOL).

Once the LCA is approved, the employer must file an H1B petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign national. The H1B petition must include proof that the foreign national meets the qualifications for the specialty occupation, including possession of a relevant bachelor's or higher degree, and that the employer has the ability to pay the prevailing wage for the position.

It is important to note that the H1B visa program is subject to an annual cap, which limits the number of H1B visas that can be issued each fiscal year. As a result, the application process can be highly competitive and 2023 was one of the most competitive years ever.  

According to USCIS, the H1B electronic registration process for the FY 2023 season received a total of 308,613 registrations for the H1B visa program, which is a significant increase from the 275,000 registrations received for the FY 2022 season.

Out of the total registrations, USCIS selected 87,500 in the lottery, which is the same as the number of H1B visas available for the FY 2023 season. This means that the selection rate was 28.32%, slightly higher than the 27.5% selection rate for the FY 2022 season.

The number of registrations received for the FY 2023 season is the highest in the past four years. In the FY 2020 season, 201,011 registrations were received, while in the FY 2021 season, 275,000 registrations were received.

The increase in the number of registrations can be attributed to various factors, including the demand for highly skilled workers in the US and the recovery of the US economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USCIS also announced that the H1B visa cap for the FY 2024 season will remain at 85,000, with an additional 20,000 visas reserved for individuals with a master's degree or higher from a US institution of higher education.

The top occupations for H1B visa registrations for the FY 2023 season were computer-related occupations, including software developers, computer systems analysts, and computer programmers.

The top 10 employers who submitted the highest number of H1B registrations for the FY 2023 season were Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL America, Infosys, IBM India Private Limited, Accenture, Capgemini America, and Wipro.

The USCIS has stated that it will start issuing the selected H1B registrations from April 2023, and employers will have 90 days to file their H1B petitions for the selected registrations.

To learn more about the registration process, contact PN Lawyers.

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