After a record number of registrations this year—780,884 as compared to 483,927 last year—USCIS announced and quickly conducted a second selection of registrants in this year’s H-1B “lottery.”
With 85,000 H-1B visas available per year, USCIS initially selected over 110,000 registrants to proceed with their H-1B petitions, with a filing deadline of June 30, 2023. After receiving all petitions from that initial selection, however, on July 27, 2023, USCIS announced that there was a need to select additional registrants to reach the 85,000 cap. This second selection was for approximately 74,000 more registrants.
That so many of the initial group of selections did not file H-1B petitions, to the point that the number of total selections nearly doubled, speaks volumes of how broken the current H-1B registration process is. While multiple “lotteries” is helpful for those who were not selected initially, it has major immigration impacts on those who could have been, but were not, selected in the first lottery—most notably students who may have lost the ability to work and live in the U.S. as a result of their “OPT” ending—and begs the question: if the system we have in place is so bad at selecting registrants who have a valid job offer ready for them, why are we not fixing this system?
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