The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Each year, there is a specific timeline for applying for the H1B visa, and there is also a lottery system in place to select the applicants who will receive the visa. In this blog post, we will discuss the H1B Visa 2024 timeline, lottery, and process.
H1B Visa 2024 Timeline:
The H1B Visa 2024 timeline is subject to change, but based on past years, we can expect the following:
What is H1B Visa 2024 Timeline?
USCIS announced the H1B Registration/ Lottery Process dates on Jan 27th, 2023. Below is the exact timeline based on the given official USCIS dates
|H1B 2024 Process||Dates||Activities during this period|
|Create H1B Registrants Account||Start from Feb 21st, 2023||Employers or H1B Sponsors create their H1B Registrant accounts. They need to use the registrant accounts to submit H1B registrations.|
|Start Date to submit H1B Registrations||March 1st, 2023||Starting date for Employers login to the USCIS H1B Registration system and submit registrations for applicants that intend to hire on H1B Visa|
|End Date to submit H1B Registrations||March 17th, 2023||Last date for Employers to submit H1B registrations.|
|H1B Registration Lottery Selection, Results||March 18th, 2023 to March 31st, 2023||USCIS conducts random selection, aka H1B lottery, and informs results during these days.|
|H1B Petition Filing Dates||April 1st, 2023 to June 30th, 2023||Employers can file H1B petitions for selected applicants in the H1B Lottery during this period. An employer needs to prepare a full petition with LCA and all applicant’s details and send the package to USCIS|
|H1B Petition Processing by USCIS, Decisions||April 1st, 2023 onwards||USCIS processes the H1B petition filed by the employer from April 1st onwards and it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.|
|H1B Visa Stamping at US Consulates||July 1st, 2023 onwards||If you are an applicant outside of the US, you need to get an H1B Visa Stamp in the passport to enter the US on H1B Visa. You apply for it at a US Consulate/Embassy.|
|Start Working on H1B Visa||October 1st, 2023 onwards||USCIS fiscal year 2024 starts from Oct 1st, 2023 and this is when the cap-subject applicants can start working. If your petition was approved and you got the visa, you can enter the US and work from Oct 1st, 2023. If you are already in the US, your status will change to H1B from this date|
Please note that the timeline is subject to change, and it’s important to stay updated on any changes made by the USCIS.
H1B Visa 2024 Lottery:
The H1B Visa lottery is a random selection process used to determine which applicants will be awarded the H1B visa. Each year, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of available visas. In 2023, the USCIS will be accepting 85,000 H1B visa applications. This number includes 65,000 visas for applicants with a bachelor’s degree or higher and 20,000 visas for applicants with a master’s degree or higher.
H1B Visa Quota for FY 2024 – Masters vs. Regular Cap
There are two categories under the H1B visa: one is the regular quota, second is the master’s quota. US Congress has set a limit of 85,000 on the number of H1B Visas that can be issued per year. That limit is called as ‘H1B quota cap’. As of today, below are the annual quota caps set for each of them and they apply to H1B fiscal year 2024 as well.
- H1B Regular Quota: 65,000 visas
- H1B Master’s Quota: 20,000 visas (only US Master’s degree completed applicants are eligible for this quota)
The H1B Visa lottery process involves two rounds. In the first round, the USCIS will randomly select 20,000 applicants with a master’s degree or higher. Any applicants not selected in the first round will then be included in the second round, along with all other applicants with a bachelor’s degree or higher. From this pool, the USCIS will randomly select an additional 65,000 applicants.
If an applicant is selected in the lottery, their employer can then file a petition with the USCIS for the H1B visa. It’s important to note that being selected in the lottery does not guarantee approval of the H1B visa petition.
H1B Visa 2024 Process:
The H1B Visa 2024 process involves several steps. Here’s an overview:
- Employer files the Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL): The LCA must be filed at least seven days before the H1B petition is filed with the USCIS.
- Employer files the H1B petition with the USCIS: The petition must include all required documentation, including proof of the applicant’s qualifications and evidence that the job is a specialty occupation.
- USCIS reviews the H1B petition: The USCIS will review the petition and may request additional information or documentation.
- USCIS approves the H1B petition: If the USCIS approves the petition, the applicant can then apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Applicant attends a visa interview: The applicant must attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate in their home country. During the interview, they will be asked about their qualifications and intentions in the US.
- Applicant receives the H1B visa: If the visa is approved, the applicant can then enter the US and begin working for their employer.