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Understanding the H1-B CAP Lottery

Understanding the H-1B Cap Lottery

The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to hire foreign employees for temporary positions that require highly specialized knowledge. Each year, though, the U.S. government only allots 85,000 new H-1B visas—65,000 for foreign workers with a bachelor's degree from a U.S. or foreign college or university and an additional 20,000 for foreign workers who have graduate degrees from a U.S. college or university. But many experts believe this could be the worst year yet for the H-1B visa cap.

Problems with the H-1B Visa Cap System in 2023

With nearly 500,000 people registering for the H-1B visa cap this year, experts are looking at several issues that could exacerbate the problem:

  • Electronic registration: While it sounds like a great system in theory, it is quite impractical as it removes the barrier to entering registration filings, which makes it much easier to file. In fact, the number of registrations went from 274,000 in 2020 to 483,000 in 2022.
  • Strong job market: In the last year, the U.S. economy has created 223,000 jobs, likely increasing demand for the H-1B.
  • Tech company layoffs: Many current foreign students who might be working in tech under an F-1 visa will be applying for the H-1B, but even if they get one, their position could be eliminated with the layoffs.
  • Previous year's applicants: In March of 2022, there were a record number of individuals who did not win the lottery, and many of them will be reapplying this year.
  • PERM labor certification slowing: Many employers are willing to sponsor graduates outside of India and China for permanent resident status. However, the process is slow, pushing them to try for the H-1B visa instead.

Separately, these issues would slow down any visa process, but working in concert, they could have devastating effects on the coming registration season.

Call Malik Law PLLC Today for a Free Consultation

Richa Malik understands how stressful and overwhelming the visa process can be. As an immigrant herself, she will work tirelessly to ensure you have every chance to work in the United States. Call (206) 771-6207 for a free consultation today, or contact us online.

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