H-1B FY2024 Cap Update – USCIS Provides FY2024 H-1B Lottery Registrations and Selections
Last week, the USCIS announced the widely anticipated data for FY2024 H-1B Cap registrations in connection with this year’s annual H-1B lottery. Please see the link below that provides the Service’s full announcement:
As expected, and as many attorneys and employers feared when the e-registration program was initially announced, there was an overwhelming number of H-1B registrants who submitted multiple registrations through multiple employers.
In its announcement, the Service provided a detailed comparative chart confirming registration and selection numbers for fiscal years 2021-2024:
*The count of eligible registrations excludes duplicate registrations, those deleted by the prospective employer prior to the close of the registration period, and those with failed payments.
**The number of selections was smaller in FY 2024 than in prior years primarily due to (a) establishing a higher anticipated petition filing rate by selected registrants based on prior years; and (b) higher projected Department of State approvals of H-1B1 visas, which count against the H-1B cap.
While it is technically not in violation of the regulations to register with multiple employers, each H-1B registration is supposed to be based on a bona-fide job opportunity’s with a bona-fide employer. When the new lottery process was announced a few years ago, USCIS stated that strict penalties would be enforced against employers who were in violation of this provision, who attempted to collude with other employers to increase the chance of lottery success for its registrants, and/or who did not have sufficient and lawful reasons for filing an H-1B petition.
While the USCIS stated that strict enforcement measures had already been made against violators of the H-1B lottery program, these penalties seem not to have been a deterrent based on the significant number of multiple registrants as opposed to single-file registrants for the FY2024 H-1B lottery. Thus, the USCIS specifically addressed in its announcement their plan to continue to implement strict enforcement measures and extensive fraud investigations to combat this potential fraud occurring during the registration process. Similar news articles in the media have also informed the public of these new measures the USCIS will be using to combat misuse of the H-1B lottery program.
A potential positive that may be predicted from the USCIS’ announcement is that, admittedly, the overall number of selections by the USCIS in this year’s lottery were lower than in prior years. When combining this data along with the strong possibility that many foreign nationals may have been selected multiple times in this year’s lottery, unselected H-1B FY2024 registrants can hold out hope that a second lottery will occur later this year once the true number of initial H-1B petitions are received by the June 30, 2023 deadline for selected cases.
GG&W will continue to monitor the H-1B cap numbers and any additional information provided by the USCIS.