H-1B CAP SEASON FOR 2024 OPENS MARCH 1
The FY-2024 H-1B lottery registration window opens March 1, 2023 and will remain open until 12pm ET March 17, 2023. The lottery allocation system is based on random selection and closes once the cap has been met, so filing as soon as possible is recommended. Selection notices should be received by employers by March 31, at which point the employer will be given a 90-day period in which to properly file a completed H-1B cap petition.
STATE DEPARTMENT PLANS PILOT PROGRAM FOR DOMESTIC VISA RENEWAL
Later this year, the State Department will launch a pilot program offering visa renewal options within the United States for H-1B specialty occupation workers and other temporary visa holders who are currently required to travel abroad for stamping. This pilot program is a shift back to pre-2004 regulations, which allowed for stateside visa renewals for these visa holders. As currently planned, the stateside renewal option will be reserved for those on H or L visas.
USCIS RECIEVES PUBLIC COMMENTS URGING RECONSIDERATION OF PROPOSED FEE HIKE
The main points addressed in the submitted public comments concern the proposed fee increase for marriage based green card, where the filing fee is targeted to increase from $1,760 to $3,640. Also, USCIS plans to remove the fee exemption for immigrant families applying for work authorization and travel permits while their applications are being processed. Perhaps most unsettling is the proposed pre-registration fee for H-1B applicants, which is set to rise dramatically, from $10 to $215, a 2,050% increase. The total impact on H-1B application cost will see a rise to $1,595, more than triple the current cost, and a cost bore by the prospective employer.