The initial registration period for 2024 H-1B work visas will open from March 1 to March 17, 2023, according to a statement by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). During this period, prospective applicants and representatives can complete and submit the required details using USCIS’ online H-1B registration system, as per the press release.
To track registrations, USCIS will give a confirmation number for each registration submitted. However, this number cannot be used to track one’s case status.
A registration fee of $10 will be levied and prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives should use a myUSCIS online account for each beneficiary’s electronic registration and subsequent selection process. US employers and agents submitting their own registrations should use a ‘registrant’ account. They will be allowed to create new accounts from February 21.
USCIS added that although representatives can add clients to their accounts at any time, beneficiary information and registration can be submitted by the representatives and registrants only by March 1. Through a single session online, petitioners and representatives can submit registrations for several beneficiaries. There is a provision to edit and save draft registrations in the account before payment and final submission of registration.
If the immigration agency receives enough registrations by March 17, registrations will be chosen randomly and selection notifications will be sent through myUSCIS account. In case of less registrations, all forms submitted in the initial registration period and which fulfil the requirements will be chosen. Account holders can expect an update from USCIS by March 31.
According to the USCIS notice, the U.S. Treasury Department has agreed to a temporary rise in the daily credit card transaction limit from $24,999.99 to $39,999.99 for the FY 2024 H-1B cap season due to the high volume of earlier registrations that surpassed the daily credit card limit. USCIS will share more information on the same before the initial H-1B registration period begins.
USCIS also added that an “H-1B cap-subject petition, including a petition for a beneficiary who is eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for the beneficiary named in the H-1B petition was selected in the H-1B registration process”.
H-1B visa is a temporary and non-immigrant work visa through which foreign professionals are hired by US companies in specialty jobs, typically in IT, finance, engineering. The initial duration of an H-1B visa category is three years, which may be extended for a maximum of six years.
Amid the massive layoffs across tech giants, a large number of Indian IT professionals, who are on non-immigrant work visas like H-1B or L1, are now scrambling for options to stay in the US to find a new job within the stipulated period. Those on H-1B visas have to find a new job within 60 days or else they would be forced to return to India.
A recent report also stated that the Joe Biden administration has proposed to hike the fee for work visas such as H-1B and also L visas, which are usually borne by the employer, thus increasing the cost of hiring.