Quick Takeaways

  • Almost 60% increase in Registrations received in March 2021
  • Selection rate approximately 26%
  • Approximately one-third of Registrations submitted under the U.S. Master’s Cap
  • More than 48,000 different prospective Petitioners filed Registrations

Nearly two weeks into the filing period for the Fiscal Year 2023 H-1B Cap, USCIS confirmed the number of Registrations it received in March, as well as the total Registrations selected to meet the 85,000 quota. In all, USCIS received 483,927 Registrations in March 2022, almost 180,000 more than last year, a nearly 60% increase. According to USCIS, 31% of the submissions were made under the U.S. Master’s Cap, for which there are 20,000 dedicated visas. 

Additionally, USCIS advised that it selected 127,600 Registrations up-front versus the 87,500 Registrations selected in the first drawing at the end of March 2021. The increase in selections makes sense in raw numbers, seeing as USCIS selected a total of 131,970 Registrations to meet last year’s quota. However, from a Petitioner or prospective employee’s perspective, this year’s selection rate of around 26% is still less than last year’s initial rate of 28%, and far lower than the final selection rate of nearly 43%. The year before that, the overall selection rate was approximately 44%. While two years of data is admittedly a small sample size, it is noteworthy that the overall acceptance rates have been so close. So, if it takes the same proportion of Registrations to meet this year’s H-1B Cap, the Service will need to select an additional 80,488 Registrations to reach 85,000 H-1B Visas. 

While that is good news for H-1B Registrations that went unselected last month, it also highlights several issues with the Electronic Registration Process. Receipt of nearly ½ million Registrations strongly suggests that in spite of USCIS’ best efforts, Petitioners continue to flood the system with numerous Registrations for the same employee, thereby increasing the inefficiencies the new system set-out to cure and potentially sowing distrust in the process. We will continue to keep an eye out for developments in this space, whether it’s potential litigation, future drawings, or anything else that arise. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the H-1B Cap process generally, or your specific case, please feel free to contact our Firm to schedule a consultation.

Authors

  • Jonathan Grode serves as the U.S. Practice Director and Managing Partner for the Firm.

  • Josh Rolf is a Senior Associate Attorney in the Firm’s Philadelphia office. Josh focuses his practice on various types of immigrant and nonimmigrant matters, including investor-based petitions.

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