H-1B petitions (see exceptions below) is subject an annual visa lottery, and each year the government issues 85,000 total visas to be given out. This number is broken down into two groups, with 20,000 visas been reserved for H-1B beneficiaries with master’s degrees or higher, and 65,000 are for other applicants.
Prospective employers seeking to file H-1B petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must electronically register and pay a nominal fee for each visa beneficiary. The USCIS will open an initial registration period for a minimum of 14 calendar days each fiscal year. The H-1B selection process will then be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. Selections will take place after the initial registration period closes, so there is no requirement to register on the day the initial registration period opens.