Dear Sophie: Extraordinary preparation for last-minute H-1Bs, O-1As and EB-1As

Dear Sophie: Extraordinary preparation for last-minute H-1Bs, O-1As and EB-1As

Dear Sophie: Extraordinary preparation for last-minute H-1Bs, O-1As and EB-1As

Here is another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are essential to spreading the knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise beyond borders and pursue their dreams,” says Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. “Whether you’re in people operations, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two year subscription at 50% off.

Dear Sophia,

How many people will employers enroll in the H-1B lottery this year? Will there be fewer because of all the layoffs?

Is it still possible to include additional candidates before the deadline next week?

— Quick Founder

Dear Fast Pace,

We are at the heart of the H-1B season! The registration window for this year’s annual H-1B lottery is currently open with USCIS.

If you plan to include (additional) applicants and your immigration counsel has already reached capacity, your company can submit any last-minute registrations on its own by following the step-by-step instructions from USCIS.

A composite image of immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

Employers should keep in mind that no new H-1B registrations can be submitted after the registration portal closes at 12 p.m. ET on March 17, which is the Friday of next week.

How many people will be registered? Nobody knows. Massive layoffs in tech mean there are plenty of people looking for jobs. On the other hand, there are still plenty of tech job openings where employers are willing to sponsor immigrant candidates. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of F-1 college graduates work on OPT and STEM OPT every year in hopes that their employers will sponsor them in the lottery.

The 2023 Immigration Trends Report actually predicts that employers will submit slightly more H-1B registrations than they did in 2022, which registered a record of over 483,000.

The lottery has 85,000 openings for new H-1Bs each year, including a subset of 20,000 reserved for individuals with advanced degrees from US colleges and universities.


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