Dear Sophie: Last Minute H-1Bs, O-1A & EB-1A Emergency Credential Preparation

Here’s another release “Dear Sophie” column, which answers immigration-related questions about working in tech companies.

“Your questions are critical to spreading the knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise above borders and follow their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, an immigration attorney in Silicon Valley. “Whether you work in the People department, are a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

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

Dear Sophie,

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

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

— Founder of the fast tempo

Dear Fast-paced,

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

If you are considering bringing in potential (additional) applicants and your immigration consultant is already at capacity, your company can just submit any last-minute registrations by following USCIS’s step-by-step instructions.

Composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of Root Devices logo background.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Employers should be aware that no new H-1B registrations can be submitted after the registration portal closes at 12pm CET on March 17th, which is Friday next week.

How many people will be registered? Nobody knows. Mass layoffs in tech mean a lot of people are looking for jobs. On the other hand, there are still many, many vacancies in technology for which employers are willing to sponsor immigrant candidates. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of F-1 college graduates work on full-time OPT and STEM OPT each year with the hope that their employers will sponsor them in the lottery.

The 2023 Immigration Trends Report actually predicts that employers will submit a little more H-1B registrations than in 2022, when there were a record of more than 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 American colleges and universities.

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