Every year there are 85,000 new H1B Visas that are issued by USCIS. If we look at H1B cap reach dates from FY 2004 until 2022, we see that there was an H1B Lottery for the last consecutive 9 years, which indicates crazy demand for H1B Visa. Starting from H1B FY 2021 season, USCIS introduced H1B Registration Process to accept registrations from employers and save cost and effort for everyone.
Many prospective applicants are not sure how the registration process works and how they can check the H1B registration or H1B Lottery status online. In this article, we will clarify who can check the status online and how can they check, including common FAQs.
If you are new to the H1B visa filing process, you can check more details on the current H1B season details at H1B Visa 2023 – Lottery, Registration Dates, Quota, News
H1B 2023 Lottery Results are out. As of March 25th, we do not have an official count or number given by USCIS yet. You can check all details with samples at H1B Visa 2023 Lottery Results Out – Sample Notice
There is some confusion among a few regarding the H1B Registration vs. H1B petition. Let’s first address that.
Difference between H1B Registration vs. H1B Petition
- H1B Registration : It is the online registration submission by an H1B Sponsoring company on behalf of an applicant that they intent to file H1B visa petition in future, if selected in the registration process. As part of H1B registration, employer only submits basic information about applicant in the H1B Registration Online Tool. The employer does not send any physical packages or forms to USCIS. The H1B registrations are submitted by H1B sponsoring companies as a first step in the overall H1B process. The registrations submitted are the ones used for H1B Lottery.
- H1B Visa Petition : H1B Petition is the actual H1B Visa application package that includes H1B Labor Condition Application(LCA), H1B filing fee, and all documentation related to applicant, that is submitted on behalf of H1B applicant. Only applicants selected in the H1B Registration Selection Process, also called as H1B Visa Lottery , are eligible to file the H1B Petition. USCIS sends out a Case receipt notice for H1B petition received by their office.
Now that we understand the difference, let’s look at H1B Registration Confirmation number and what it means for checking the status of the registrations.
H1B Registration Beneficiary Confirmation Number
After the Employer submits the H1B Registration, there is an option for them to print the confirmation with details. Below is the sample H1B Registration submission confirmation that the employer can print out and share with the applicant. If you look at it, there is a section for ‘Beneficiaries‘ and it has the details of the H1B Applicant and there is a “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” that starts with fiscal year and then followed by some digits.
The H1B Registration “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” is a 16 digit alphanumeric number and it starts with the fiscal year. For example, for FY 2023, it would look like 2023-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx. For FY 2022, it would look like 2022-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx. It appears on the submission screen of the H1B Registration System and also the submission confirmation form that can be printed during subsmission. See below screenshots for the same.
You can also see the “Beneficiary confirmation number” on the H1B Registration Selection Notice, as shown in the below screenshot.
In the past, the beneficiary confirmation number for H1B registrations used to be a 19 digit long number, but this changed from FY 2022. Below is an old example of the same from a sample H1B Registration Selection Notice from FY 2021 season.
The H1B Beneficiary Confirmation Number does not have any specific format or meaning as such, except the first 4 digits are the Fiscal Year. Unlike, the USCIS Case/Receipt Number that is given by USCIS for an H1B petition has a specific format and meaning. It usually starts with WAC, EAC, or other letters that signify the service center followed by digits. For complete details, read H1B Receipt Number Meaning
Check H1B Lottery Status with Beneficiary Confirmation Number ?
The “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” on the H1B registration submission form or in the H1B Registration Online System is only for internal reference by USCIS for running the H1B Lottery. It cannot be used by the applicant or anyone else to check the status of H1B Registration or Lottery Status. Also, USCIS does not expose any external-facing webpage also like Checking USCIS Case Status online
If you have submitted H1B Registration for H1B FY 2023 season, please add your case to H1B Visa 2023 Case Tracker for community benefit. It is anonymous and used to track macro trends and helps everyone.
How to check H1B Registrationon or Lottery Status ?
The employer or the attorney, who submitted the H1B registrations, can login to the USCIS H1B Registration online system and check the status of the H1B registration or lottery. Usually, they would get a notification in an email telling them that the some action was taken on their case. But, it will not really tell the actual status. It would say “We have taken an action on your case” as in below screenshot. This is a very generic message and is also sent for many other case statuses.
After the email notification, the employer or attorney can login to the online H1B Registration system and it would show the “Selected” or other statuses in the online system. It looks like in the below screenshot. Also, employers can download the H1B Registration Selection notice by clicking on the “View Notice” link.
If you are selected in H1B Registration or Lottery, the H1B Registration Selection Notice would say your name, your company name, and details about when you can file the H1B Petition. If you look closely below, it says the case type as “H-1BR – H1B REGISTRATION”, which indicates it is an H1B registration selection notice. Check the sample screenshot of the same below.
There is nothing you can do if your employer does not share the H1B Registration screenshot or submission confirmation. The entire H1B process is handled by the employer and it is their discretion to share it with the H1B applicant. In most cases, employers share these details. But, some IT Bodyshop kind of companies, may withhold this information.
No, you cannot transfer H1B Registration from one employer to other, only the employer who submitted on your behalf can file the H1B petition.
Well, nothing happens. Your selection was not used, so it kind of expires at the end of 90 days. You cannot use that in the future for filing an H1B petition. In fact, these kinds of expirations are the ones that lead to the second round and third round lottery.
You may also read How to check H1B Visa Petition or Case Status online . What was your experience filing H1B Visa Registration ? Share your thoughts in comments below.