The 2023 H-1B cap season is here. Once again, it’s a two-step process – the registration step and then, if the registration is selected, the petition step.

This is the third year that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has used the electronic registration tool.

This year’s registrations will be for periods of employment that begin October 1, 2021, which is the first day of the federal government’s FY 2023. Registration for FY 2023 is open from noon Eastern Time on March 1 through noon Eastern Time on March 18, 2022. Employers or their legal representatives may create their online accounts now.

The online registration form will request basic information about the prospective H-1B employer and employee. The basic form is identical to last year’s form, and asks for the following:

  • The employer’s name, Federal Employer Identification Number, and primary office address.
  • The name, job title, daytime phone, and email address of the employer’s authorized representative.
  • The beneficiary’s full name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, gender, and passport number.
  • Whether the beneficiary has earned a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution, and if so, the degree and institution.

Employers have to file a separate registration for each proposed H-1B worker at a fee of $10 per registration.

If the number of registrations exceeds the annual cap of 85,000 visas, the USCIS will make random selections, but only from among the candidates who have been registered. If there are not enough registrations, the USCIS may continue accepting submitted registrations or open a new registration period. If the random selection process is necessary, the USCIS will notify those who filed registrations by March 31 whether their registration was selected.

If a registration is accepted by the USCIS, the employer will have 90 days from notification to file its actual petition. The Registration Selection notice specifies the Service Center where the petition is to be filed.

There is some overlap between the registration and petition steps because attorneys generally review certain issues relevant to the petition during the registration step. For example, they normally review any issues related to H-1B specialty occupations or job titles during the registration step.

It is imperative for employers seeking H-1B employees in FY 2023 to get their registrations filed accurately and on time.