H-1B Lottery Season: May the Odds Be in Your Favor

With the H-1B registration period now closed, USCIS will randomly select H-1B registrants for the 2023 fiscal year by March 31, 2022, for visas that become available October 1, 2022. Employers will have a 90-day window to complete and file the H-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary if selected. The beneficiary must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent by the time of filing the H-1B petition – not registration.

Even if not initially selected in the lottery, employers and beneficiaries should be aware that supplemental selections may take place. In the last two years, additional selections from those who were registered in March were conducted in the summer. (Employers are advised to periodically check their USCIS portal or contact their immigration attorney on the status of additional selections.) Beneficiaries not selected should explore alternate pathways should they wish to maintain status in the United States. Most F-1 students graduating in the spring become eligible for work through Optical Practical Training (OPT) for up to 12 months. If studying a STEM field, it is possible to receive an additional 24-month OPT extension. There are other immigrant and nonimmigrant options that might be available to nonselected beneficiaries that should be carefully discussed with an experienced immigration attorney.


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