September 05, 2023

What employers need to know if their employee was selected in the H-1B lottery

The federal fiscal year begins on October 1, 2023, which means many H-1B cap recipients will begin working in H-1B status. As the employer, you need to be aware of a few items as the new H-1B status takes effect for your employees.

  • Update Form I-9 – If the employee is already working for you, you will need to update the I-9 with the new H-1B status. Please review the “Handbook for Employers M-274” for acceptable documents to update the I-9.
  • Tax withholdings – There are different rules and regulations surrounding the withholding of taxes, social security, etc. for H-1B holders from that of employees on student status. Please let your payroll department know of the change in status for the employee so that the proper withholdings are implemented.
  • H-1B status is linked to the worksite. We have prepared and submitted a labor condition application (LCA) for your H-1B employee that lists all the worksites where the H-1B employee is allowed to work. If there are changes to the worksite, please contact our office immediately so we can provide guidance on how to get any additional worksites linked to the H-1B.
  • Most H-1B petitions are filed as full-time employment. If the H-1B employee falls below full-time status, please contact our office to file an amendment to part-time employment.
  • H-1B status is granted for up to 3-years at a time, and each H-1B holder is eligible to remain on H-1B status for a total of 6 years. You, as the employer, will need to calendar to update the I-9 when the current petition expires. We have also calendared reminders about 6 months in advance of the expiration date to extend the H-1B status.
  • If the employee leaves your employment, please let our office know so that the H-1B petition can be withdrawn so that you won’t be held responsible for any back wages owed to the H-1B employee.
  • Many H-1B employees also want to obtain green cards. H-1B is a good steppingstone to sponsorship for permanent residency. As the employer, please be prepared to answer employee questions regarding whether you will sponsor green cards. Many H-1B candidates ask us when their green cards will be processed, but we must defer to their employers who have to authorize green card processes, as this is an employer driven process. Many of our employers  choose to wait 6-12 months before authorizing green cards to make sure employees are good fits for the company and vice versa. However, the amount of time is up to the individual employer.

Should you have further questions about the switch to H-1B status, please contact our office and we can provide answers to your questions.

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