U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a record 483,927 H-1B registrations in March and selected 127,600 registrations for which full H-1B petitions may be submitted for the 2023 fiscal year, the agency announced Thursday.

Key Points:

  • The 483,927 registrations marked a 56.8% increase over the 308,613 from last year.
  • The annual quota for cap-subject H-1B visas is 85,000 of which 20,000 are exclusively for U.S. advanced degree holders. USCIS said roughly 31% of all eligible registrations requested consideration under the advanced degree exemption.
  • USCIS selected significantly more registrations in the initial lottery than last year, when it selected 87,500 and subsequently conducted two additional lotteries.
  • The agency said it “takes into account historical data related to approvals, denials, revocations, and other relevant factors to calculate the number of petitions needed to meet the H-1B cap for a given fiscal year.”

BAL Analysis: The USCIS data demonstrates the ongoing popularity of the H-1B program and the high demand for the limited annual number of visas. Employers are encouraged to work with their BAL attorney to consider alternatives for registrations that were not selected in March’s lottery.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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