H-1B Cap Season is Upon Us

Will We Set a New Lottery Registration Record or Do Layoffs in the Tech Sector Portend a Slow Year?

By Andrew M. Wilson

January 18, 2023 | Immigration Blog

The start of a new calendar year means that it is H-1B cap filing season again. This year the process will once again be implemented through the USCIS online lottery registration tool.

USCIS will be announcing the specific dates in March for this year’s registration period.

The new USCIS proposed rule to increase H-1B cap registration fees will not affect this year’s registration process. The H-1B cap registration fee will again be $10 for each individual registered.

We will have to see if hopes of a soft landing for the economy will translate into a new record for lottery registrations, or if layoffs in the tech industry will translate into lower numbers. My guess is that issues in the tech sector will mean lower registrations this year.

H-1B Cap Individuals

Companies need to evaluate their anticipated hiring needs for H-1B professionals, specifically those requiring initial H-1B status. This is particularly true for any current employees working under Optional Practical Training (OPT), any individuals who were not chosen under last year's H-1B cap lottery process and any individuals running out of L-1 time.

Overview of H-1B Cap Lottery Registration Process
USCIS implemented a requirement that employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated H-1B registration fee to determine if they may file an H-1B cap-subject petition.
The initial registration period will open in March 2023. USCIS will close the initial registration period before the end of March 2023.
USCIS will notify registrants with selected registrations from the initial registration period by April 1st.

Selected registrants should be able to begin filing petitions beginning April 1st. Petitioners have at least 90 days from the date of a registration selection to submit a complete H-1B petition to USCIS. Petitions will be adjudicated in the order in which they are received. Note: USCIS will select enough registrations necessary to meet the applicable numerical limitations; therefore, as long as a petition is properly filed during the petition filing window it will be adjudicated.

H-1B Cap Lottery Outlook

Last year saw a record 483,927 H-1B cap registrations and only one random selection process. In FY 2022, there were 308,613 H-1B cap registrations and USCIS conducted three (3) rounds of random selections. These numbers show that it is time to revisit the 85,000 H-1B cap annual quota.  Even with a slowdown in tech, we need the 195,000 that we had for 2001-2003. See:


Feel free to contact  Andrew M. Wilson at awilson@lippes.com with any H-1B cap lottery registration or any other immigration related questions.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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