When is the H-1B lottery for 2023?

USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the upcoming H-1B lottery will run from March 1, 2023 (noon) until March 17, 2023 (noon). Employers and attorneys will be able to register individuals needing an H-1B visa at any time during this period. Preference will not be given to those who register earlier. If by noon March 17, 2023 there are more registrants than available H-1B numbers, USCIS will conduct a random lottery afterwards. We anticipate that the results of the lottery will announced towards the end of March.

Please note that should a lottery be conducted, 20,000 numbers will be allocated to registrants with US Master’s degrees or higher first, and then another lottery will be conducted for the remaining 65,000 numbers.

Who should consider registering for the H-1B lottery?

The US immigration system requires individuals to have permission, or a visa, to remain in the US. Such visas are issued for very specific purposes and specific durations. Visas exist for business visits, tourism, educational purposes, and for work. The H-1B visa is one type of work visa. It is available when the following criteria exist:

  • US employer (no self-sponsorship);
  • Offered position is a “specialty occupation” – that is, the duties are such that one cannot perform the duties without a degree in a specific field of study (plainly said, jobs that can be performed by an individual with any (or no) educational background do not qualify for the H-1B);
  • Employer is paying the required wage (either at or above the higher of the prevailing wage or the wage paid to similarly employed US workers); and
  • Individual meets the degree requirement of the position

There is no labor market test for H-1Bs however.

Unless the petitioning employer is a college, university, non-profit research organization, or government research organization, then the individual must go through the H-1B lottery at least once. Candidates who are recent graduates and who may be in the US in other work-authorized visas that have limited duration of time are the usual candidates for the H-1B visas. Given that the lottery happens only once a year, it is very important not to miss this opportunity. While the H-1B visa is the most common for degreed professionals, there are other options as well. Feel free to contact Clark Lau LLC to see whether the H-1B visa is appropriate in your situation.

The above has been provided for educational purposes only.