What is essential for H1-B employers?
As an employer, if you plan to hire immigrant workers in technical and super specialty job roles in the field of science, technology, management, etc., and which requires at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of work for the 2024 hiring season, H1-B cap season 2024 is the right time for it.
Since an H1-B visa is an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa, they need to be conscious of every step, timeline, and document necessary for the process, or the same can hamper your hiring plans.
Remember, if you are a cap-exempt employer, you don’t need to follow the complete process during any H1B cap season.
Important dates to remember:
The whole process starts with registration and ends with acceptance of the immigrant employee’s visa application so they can begin working for the employer. The important dates the employer needs to keep in mind are:
- March 1, 2023 -H1B Registration 2024: this is the start date of the registration process, and March 17, 2023, is the last end by which every employer needs to complete the registration process.
- March 18 to 31st, 2023-H1B Lottery 2024, post the end of the registration process; this is the time for the employers to wait and watch. The period is called the H-1B lottery. During this period, the USCIS randomly selects the registrations filed by the different employers to identify people ( beneficiaries) who can proceed to the next step for filing the H1-B petition. If registrations for one of your prospective employee applications get accepted during the H1-B lottery 2024, they need to prepare for the next steps.
- April 1 to June 30, 2023-H1B petition filing for 2024, if one of your applications gets accepted during the lottery, the employer will now get 90 days to file an H1-B petition with the USCIS against the accepted registration.
As the employers start filing their petitions, USCIS will begin processing the petitions, and if they find any discrepancy, they will notify the same of the employer. USCIS can ask for additional documents against the beneficiary and the job role to validate the information shared about the beneficiary by the employer. Once the USCIS approval process is over, the employee can start working for you from October 1, 2023, the first day of the financial year 2024.
Basic understanding of the steps involved:
H1-B 2024 Registration:
Registration is the first step in the H-1B cap season filing process for 2024.USCIS first introduced the system in 2020. It is an electronic registration process, and the main reasons for its introduction are:
- Reducing paperwork
- Improved data exchange
- Reduce the cost of the employers ( who are, in this case, called the registrants or prospective petitioners or their representatives)
The registration process is fundamental; either the employer ( or registrants) can do that on their own, or their immigration attorney can do that on their behalf. The process starts with going to the myuscis.gov website and creating an account. Once in the account, you add the list of beneficiaries with their basic details like name, passport number, country of birth, etc., and submit the form. Remember that you can add to a maximum of 250 beneficiaries in one go.
In case the registration process is done by your immigration attorney on your behalf, they will give you a passcode, and the employer can create a registrant account and approve the attorney with that code.
Another thing to remember is that the registration fee is USD 10 per beneficiary, and if you want to remove one after registration, there is no refund.
H1-B 2024 lottery:
For the H1B cap season 2024, the lottery process would start just after the last date of registration. The lottery is a 15-day process. The H1-B 2024 lottery is a random selection process to select the required number of H1-B applicants from a larger pool of registrants.
We all know that there is a limit on the number of new H1-B visas issued each year under the general and master’s quota. The computer-generated selection process, which we call the lottery, ensures that an optimum number of beneficiaries are selected to meet the quota limits concerning overall numbers and the numbers of new H1-Bs issued for each country.
H1B 2024 petition:
Technically, this is the last step of the filing process for H1-B cap season 2024. The stage starts with you as a registrant receiving notice of the acceptance of the registration during the H1-B 2024 lottery process. Different sets of this step are :
- LCA or Labour condition application filing. The filing is with the Department of Labor and should have the information regarding the job and explain that it is an exact fit as per H1-B visa guidelines and the wage rate. The wage rate should align with the prevailing wage for that particular profile and position. We must remember that it takes around seven days for the LCA to be approved.
- Petition filing: Once we have the LCA approval, the registrants or the employer needs to file three petitions: I-129, I-129H, and I-129 DC, with all relevant information about the employer, the job ( the employer has to showcase that there is a permanent job that is available for that specific beneficiary and the availability is not speculative) and the beneficiary with the registration approval notice.
We must remember that USCIS can directly approve the petition or ask for additional information about the petition in the form of an RFE ( Request for further evidence) notice.
Once, as an employer, you complete the entire H1-B filing process for the H1-B cap season 2024, the beneficiary can start working with your organization from October 1, 2023, or after that. Suppose the prospective employee is outside the US. In that case, the person must go to their local consulate for the interview and verify their documents and information before USCIS issues them a new H1-B visa.
H1-B Employer Resource
A complete guide for H1-B Employers to succeed in 2024 H1-B Cap Season
Answers to all essential questions related to H1-B visa and 2024 filing season that help master the process
A series of short videos and related articles explaining the different nuances around the H1-B 2024 cap season