Ask Sophie: What are the latest H-1B lottery updates?

Sophie Alcorn, attorney, author and founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley, California, is an award-winning Certified Specialist Attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Sophie is passionate about transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world by practicing compassionate, visionary, and expert immigration law. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Dear Sophie,

I’m the co-founder of a startup that has done H-1B transfers (including my own) but has not yet registered anyone in the H-1B lottery. This year, we want to register an F-1 student who has been working with us on OPT and a new engineer who is currently outside the U.S. I’ve heard there are changes to the lottery. Any insights you can share?

— Looking to the Lottery

Dear Looking,

It’s great to hear you’re registering potential new and existing employees in the H-1B lottery! As one of the few dual-intent work visas, the H-1B offers employers a valuable strategy to attract and retain top global talent in the United States. There are a myriad of recent updates: The lottery will now be “1 person, 1 chance,” there are new filing fees, forms, software updates, and more. Now is the time to talk to your immigration attorney to sponsor your team!

A main thing to keep in mind is that the filing fees for all visa and green card petitions, including the H-1B specialty occupation visa, will increase on April 1. The filing fee for the H-1B will increase from $460 to $780 for employers with 26 or more full-time employees. Also on April 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue a revised Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), which must be used. Attend my upcoming February 9 free educational AMA webinar and read on for more.

First, let me explain what’s called the cap-subject H-1B process, aka lottery, which will accept submissions from 12 noon (ET) on March 6, 2024, through 12 noon (ET) on March 22, 2024.

Know the H-1B basics!