As you know, USCIS started sending out H1B Selections from Friday, March 24th, 2023 late evening. We had lottery results trickling in over the weekend, and finally today we have official news from USCIS. Earlier today, USCIS released a press note indicating that they have completed the first round lottery for H1B FY 2024 season to reach the H1B cap, and they have informed all the employers regarding the same.
In this article, we will review the USCIS press release details on what it means and address common questions around the same.
If you are new, you may read H1B 2024 season lottery, process, and FAQs, for full info.
USCIS News Announcement – H1B 2024 Cap Reached
Many of our users in our social media channels & communities shared that H1B 2024 Lottery results are released, and some of them got selection notices as well from their employers starting from Friday, March 24th, 2023. This is similar to last year FY 2023 process, where USCIS would start sending out the results starting from Friday and they would announce the press release on Monday. This year for FY 2024, they are repeating the same pattern.
Earlier today, March 27th, 2023, USCIS released an official press note indicating that they have reached the H1B Cap for FY 2024 season and completed sending out the notifications to users for the first-round lottery selections. Below is the summary of the press release and details on the same by topic.
Update: USCIS received 781K H1B Registrations for FY 2024 Season. Read full details at USCIS got 781K H1B Registrations for FY 2024, Analysis, Metrics
H1B 2024 First Round Lottery Selection Completed, Notified employers
- USCIS says that they have received enough H1B registrations to meet the H1B visa cap quota for the FY 2024 season during the H1B registration period for this fiscal year, which was from March 1st, to March 202th, 2023.
- First Round Lottery Done: They have completed first round of H1B Lottery (random selection) from the submitted H1B registrations in the H1B Registration Online System that were properly filed online. There was no preference given to anyone in the lottery, it is pure random selection. In the past, there were attempts to change H1B Lottery to be wage-based, but it was cancelled by court
- Notifications completed: USCIS has also notified all employers, who submitted H1B registrations for FY 2024, regadring the selections from the lottery.
- The selections indicate that the employers can file H1B petitions on behalf of their selected applicant with USCIS.
Selection Statuses after First Round H1B Lottery
The employers/ attorneys would see one of the below four statuses in their online accounts, where they submitted H1B registrations
- Submitted: This status means that the H1B registration was not selected in first round of lottery and continues to be eligible for subsequent lottery rounds, if they happen. For your backgroud, we had second and third round lottery for FY 2022 season, you can check H1B cap count updates History
- Selected: If you see this status, it means that you were lucky and your H1B registration was selected in the first round lottery. Also, you can use the H1B selection notice that is generated by USCIS and file an H1B petition for the applicant selected in lottery.
- Denied: This status means that multiple registrations were submitted for the same applicant by the same employer. If you see this status, all other registrations that were submitted by the employer for the same applicant would be considered invalid.
- Invalidated-failed Payment: If the payment was not successful due to reasons such as declined, disputed, not reconciled, etc. then you would see this status. If this status is present, that registration would not have been part of the lottery selection as well.
There is one more status ‘Not Selected’, that is not shown at the moment for the registrations. You will see this status for all the registrations that were not selected when USCIS makes a decision that they do not need to run further rounds of lottery and they have received enough petitions to meet the H1B cap.
H1B Petitions can be filed from April 1st, 2023 for Selected Applicants
- USCIS says that H1B cap subject petitions can be filed with USCIS for all the selected applicants in the lottery starting from April 1st, 2023.
- Only Selected Applicants: Only employers with selected H1B registrations can file an H1B petition for the selected applicant only. They cannot change the applicant name and details for H1B petition filing.
- No Online Filing: There is no online filing option for H1B petition. Employers need to submit the physical forms relevant to H1B petition to USCIS along with the FY 2024 H1B selection notice.
Where to file H1B petition, Eligibility Proofs
- Service Center Details: The H1B selection notice will indicate the filing USCIS service center location. Employers need to file at the correct service center within the 90 days filing window that starts from April 1st and ends on June 30th, 2023.
- US Masters Proof: If the applicant is filing for US Masters quota, they need to submit proof related to the same either transcripts or degree award certificate as applicable.
- Proof of Eligibility: The H1B registration process is just for selection only and does not indicate approval of H1B petition. The employer need to submit all the proofs to establish the eligibility for H1B visa and demonstrate that the applicant and job position meets the same.
H1B Receipts Delays, Prepaid Mailers Guidance for FY 2024
- No Prepaid Mailers: In the past, USCIS used to allow employers to send in prepaid mailers to send out any communication or notices related to their H1B petition. Similar to last year, they are not using prepaid mailers for FY 2024 season.
- Automated process – First Class Mail: USCIS has automated the entire process of mailing receipt notices and will use first-class mail to send out receipt notices and further communication with petitioners/ employers.
- H1B Receipt Notice: USCIS will issue a H1B receipt notice, which is a Form I-797 Notice of Action, for all the H1B petitions that are timely and properly filed. It is a proof that they have received the petition and it is processed. Check Sample H1B Receipt Notice. You can use a receipt notice to check the status of your H1B Case online at USCIS website
- H1B Receipt Notice Delays: Due to the large volume of H1B petitions filed with USCIS, there can be delays with issuance of the H1B receipt notice.
- As an employer, if you have received confirmation from the delivery serivce like FedEx, UPS, etc. that your petition was delivered, then you need to wait for 30 days since the confirmation of the delivery for the receipt notice.
- Just because, the employer did not get a receipt notice on time, the employer should NOT file a second H1B petition, if they have confirmation that the delivery service has delivered the petition with USCIS.
- Employers can contact USCIS contact center, if you do not receive notice in the 30 days window.
- Duplicable H1B Petitions: If the employer submits a second petition, insipte of confirmation from delivery service that their petition was delivered to USCIS, it will be considered as duplicate petition and will result in a denail or revovation of both the petitions filed by them.
- Delivery Service Error – Second Petition: If the employer has proof that the delivery service did not deliver the H1B petition package to USCIS and it was lost, then they can submit a second H1B petition with USCIS and provide a proof why the second petition is being filed with evidence and also submit a request to withdraw the first H1B petition.
Total H1B registrations for FY 2024 Season? Premium Process?
The press release from USCIS does not indicate any details on the total number of H1B registrations received by them for FY 2024 season. Also, last year, USCIS did not release the total count of registrations during this time of the year.
They released the total H1B registrations count later in April. We can expect to see this official count of total H1B registrations as well next month. FYI, last year there were 484,000 H1B registrations submitted for FY 2023 season. If you see anyone saying total number of H1B registrations, it is pure speculation or prediction based on their own analysis like our H1B 2024 Lottery Predictions.
Premium Processing for H1B Petition: In general, you can file an H1B petition with USCIS in premium processing, if you want to get the decision within 15 days of the filing. Read H1B Premium Processing vs Regular Processing for more info. USCIS has not indicated any restrictions on filing the H1B petition in premium processing. So, technically, one can file H1B petition in premium processing for FY 2024 season.
Statistics on H1B Registrations: The current press release or the web pages of H1B registration does not have any statistics on the total registrations, split by regular vs. masters, how many employers filed, etc. We expect to see these details later in April.
H1B 2024 Case Tracker – Anonymous
The next steps of H1B process are going to be long and can be very frustrating waiting for receipt notices, approvals, if not filed in premium processing. To help everyone stay calm and get macro trends, please add your H1B case details on the anonymous H1B 2024 Case Tracker.
If your employer said, you were not selected, it means that you were not selected in the first round of lottery. Until we see the actual number of registrations count with USCIS and how many they have selected, we cannot say. The reason is, we may have second or third round lottery, if less registrations were selected or many who were selected did not file
Usually, large employers can take couple of days to get their act together due to the internal process and it can take time to inform you. So, do not be disheartened and give your employer some time. Ask them regarding the status of your registration to get the status and then plan.
Well, if the offers are genuine like one from Google and other from Microsoft and they both filed H1B for you and you got selected in both places, then you are fine. But, if you applied through IT Body shops without a real job offer and some malpractices to game the system, you would likely be in trouble. Last year USCIS sent NOID Notices for applicants who filed multiple registrations after they filed petitions.
What do you think of the USCIS Press release? What is your speculation? Share your thoughts in comments section below.