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02.14.2022 Legal News

H-1B Lottery Season Underway for FY 2023

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the registration period for this year’s H-1B lottery will begin at noon Eastern time on March 1, 2022 and will end at noon Eastern time on March 18, 2022. All H-1B lottery registrations must be submitted online to the USCIS H-1B portal during this period.

The H-1B visa program allows companies in the U.S. to employ foreign workers in “specialty occupations.” As in past years, USCIS will conduct two lotteries to select enough beneficiaries to meet the 85,000 annual cap. This number includes 20,000 slots reserved for candidates who earned an advanced degree from a U.S. educational institution.             

Employers should promptly identify current and prospective employees who need H-1B visa sponsorship, such as newly graduating foreign students in the U.S., overseas workers who are seeking to start work in the U.S. in H-1B status, or foreign nationals present in the U.S. in another nonimmigrant status who may benefit from a change of status to H-1B. H-1B candidates include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Recent college and university graduates present in the U.S. in F-1 student status who are working pursuant to optional practical training (OPT) or STEM OPT;
  • Eligible candidates who are currently enrolled in school in F-1 status who may be working pursuant to curricular practical training (CPT);
  • Candidates abroad who are subject to the annual H-1B cap;
  • Candidates in another nonimmigrant status (e.g., L-1B) who are approaching the maximum limits of their status and would benefit from a change of status to H-1B;
  • Candidates currently in H-4 or L-2 status who are working on the basis of an employment authorization document (EAD) based on their spouse’s H-1B or L-1 immigration status;
  • Candidates in another nonimmigrant status who work for a different employer and would require an H-1B visa to change jobs; or
  • Candidates in TN, E, or H-1B1 status for whom an employer is considering pursuing permanent residence.

Keep in mind that, in order to be eligible for H-1B status, the job offered must be a position that normally requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the individual must possess a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in the specialty related to the offered position.

Employers who have not previously created a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process will need to create such an account. Employers will be able to create new accounts beginning at noon Eastern on February 21, 2022. Our team is ready to assist companies in navigating the registration process.

After March 18, 2022, USCIS will conduct its lottery by randomly selecting H-1B registrants. USCIS will then send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. USCIS intends to notify account holders by March 31, 2022.

If you have questions regarding the process, or if you would like for us to initiate the H-1B registration process for your company and your H-1B candidates, please feel free to contact a member of the Williams Mullen immigration team: D. Earl Baggett, IV at or (804) 420-6478; Tom C. Narvaez at or (804) 420-6383; William J. Benos at or (804) 420-6402; or Camila Conte at or (804) 420-66258.