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FY 2024 H-1B Data Underscores Need for Modernization of the US Immigration System

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​On April 28, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update on the FY 2024 H-1B electronic registration process. The electronic registration process was implemented in 2020, beginning with the FY 2021 H-1B cap. 

Historically, employers filed their full, and often voluminous, H-1B cap-subject petitions with USCIS during a five-day filing period, after which USCIS would select eligible petitions through a random process. This process resulted in unnecessary paperwork and incurred mailing costs for both petitioners and the agency. By streamlining the H-1B cap selection process with an electronic registration system, USCIS created cost savings and efficiencies for petitioners and the agency. 

However, data released from the FY 2024 H-1B period shows the process needs to be modernized as there was a significant increase in the number of registrations submitted compared with prior years. There were more than 780,884 registrations and only 110,791 selections, a 147 percent increase in multiple registrations from last fiscal year. 

This has raised serious concerns that some may have tried to gain an unfair advantage by working together to submit multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary, therefore increasing one's chances of selection. Based on evidence from the FY 2023 and FY 2024 H-1B cap seasons, USCIS has undertaken extensive fraud investigations, denied and revoked petitions accordingly, and is in the process of initiating law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.

This chart shows registration and selection numbers for fiscal years 2021-2024 (as of April 24). 

Cap Fiscal YearTotal RegistrationsEligible Registrations*Eligible Registrations for Beneficiaries with No Other Eligible RegistrationsEligible Registrations for Beneficiaries with Multiple Eligible RegistrationsSelections**


*The count of eligible registrations excludes duplicate registrations, those deleted by the prospective employer prior to the close of the registration period, and those with failed payments. 

**The number of selections was smaller in FY24 than in prior years primarily due to (a) establishing a higher anticipated petition filing rate by selected registrants based on prior years; and (b) higher projected Department of State approvals of H-1B1 visas, which count against the H-1B cap.


This data illustrates the need to modernize the U.S. immigration system as stated in SHRM 2023 workplace immigration research and policy recommendations. Issuing additional employment-based visas in all categories would ensure that petitioners do not attempt to game the system. 

In addition, the H-1B program is not responsive to labor and market demands. Only 110,791 petitioners were selected, leaving thousands unselected and U.S. employers without access to top global talent.

SHRM looks forward to working with policymakers to advance commonsense policy solutions that remove barriers for U.S. companies to access educated, accessible and legally authorized workers. Last week, SHRM Director of Policy and Partnership Research Kerri Nelson was featured on the BAL Immigration Report podcast to discuss SHRM's research findings. 


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