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The annual process for employers seeking to sponsor and hire workers who aren’t U.S. citizens is underway. If you want to sponsor noncitizen employees, you must be prepared.

When you have positions that can’t be filled by U.S. workers, such as specialty roles or for global operations, the government has established regulations that enable companies to hire noncitizens.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) opened registration for fiscal 2024 Wednesday, March 1 and will close it at noon Friday, March 17. Registration, which is submitted online, is the first step in the process of hiring workers requiring an H-1B visa. There is a $10 fee for each registration.

The types of roles employers seek noncitizens to fill are typically engineering, software engineers, coding or higher education. Massachusetts has a lot of colleges and many student visas that turn into internships, sponsorships and then citizenships.

Two lotteries

USCIS selects the sponsoring companies through two lotteries for an annual visa cap of 85,000, which includes registrations for the normal cap of 65,000 visas and a second lottery for 20,000 visas for those who have advanced degrees. Companies receive notification of their selection by March 31. The next step is the period for filing petitions, which begins in April and lasts for at least 90 days. New H-1B employees wouldn’t be permitted to begin work until Oct. 1.

Competition is tough: the USCIS received 483,927 H-1B registrations for fiscal 2023 and selected 127,600.

I have experienced the immigration side of hiring through my corporate Human Resources positions and a recent client inquiry. During the past few months, a client asked me about hiring a noncitizen, but the company needed to fill the position immediately. I explained the lengthy process and the employer had to go back to seeking an employee in the U.S.

If you want to hire a noncitizen, you must justify the reason you can’t fill the job with a U.S. citizen. There is no limit on the number of registrations an employer can file, but only one person is permitted for each registration. You will have to submit information about yourself, a job description, and the worker’s name, birth date, citizenship and education.

Hire a lawyer

I recommend employers applying to sponsor noncitizen workers hire a lawyer who is up to speed on compliance and regulatory matters to support them through the H-1B process.

Employers seeking to hire noncitizens are supporting the immigrant’s eligibility to work in the U.S. The employee holding the visa isn’t allowed to work for anyone else.

H-1B work visas are good for three years, with extensions available for up to three additional years. When you can no longer extend the visa, you have the option of sponsoring the employee for a green card, which is another lengthy process.

It costs about $5,500 to obtain an H-1B visa with an additional fee to renew the visa every year. The lawyer’s fee – some have a flat rate – is about $3,000. The costs incurred in obtaining a visa reflect your investment in the employee and their career.

If you know you want to hire noncitizens, you need to begin preparing for the process in October to sponsor someone the following year.

For more information about hiring noncitizens, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my new podcast! We’ve produced six videos and I have three additional guests lined up. I hope we can launch my show sometime this month.

50+ Job Seekers workshops

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops are free and virtual on Zoom.

Remaining workshops this month are:

  • Thursday, March 9, noon to 1 p.m.: “Meeting the Needs of Caregivers,” with Julie Norstrand, M.S.W., Ph.D., who founded Help My Aging Parents to help families become proactive caregivers. She works as a gerontologist and facilitates caregiver support groups.

Learn how to evaluate the needs of older relatives, when to offer help, what the conversation should consist of, how to set up a plan and what resources are available.

This event is offered by Encore Boston Network and co-presented by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.

Register here.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 10 to 11:15 a.m.: “Get to Know Age-Friendly Employers,” moderated by Carol Harvey, retired professor, author of “Understanding & Managing Diversity” and member of the AARP MA Executive Council.

This event is offered by Encore Boston Network and co-presented by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.

Register here.

  • Thursday, March 16, 10 to 11 a.m.: “How Do I Get People to Talk to Me Again?”

This Savvy Seeker Series discussion features Paul Adler, founder and principal of Global Business Consulting. An experienced global business development expert, Adler helps companies penetrate new markets and excel in existing ones. Through this work, he has learned tips, tricks and strategies that have enabled him to become a superior “Networker for Success.”

Join us as we interview Adler. He will provide anecdotes on what to do so people will want to interact with you again – and what to avoid. If you have questions you would like to submit before the session, email them to 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com by Sunday, March 12. You also will have the opportunity to enter questions in the chat during the session.

  • Monday, March 20, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Interview Practice

For good or bad, first impressions matter. When interviewing, you need to put your best foot forward and that takes practice.

  • Do you have an interview coming up?
  • Do you know how to respond to behavioral questions?
  • Do you need suggestions on how to address gaps in employment?

Join us for answers to your questions about interviews and learn how to respond to a variety of questions that may be presented to you in an interview.

  • Tuesday, March 21, 10 to 11 a.m.: “Finding a Job When You Have Gaps in Your Work History,” with Cheryl Gelzer Alexis, Learning and Development Partner for MassHire South Shore.

Are you job-hunting with a gap in your work history? Are you re-entering the workforce after being unemployed for a while? Learn how to anticipate and explain gaps in your resume, LinkedIn profile and interviews. And learn how to present yourself so potential employers focus on your skills, not your work history.

This event is offered by Encore Boston Network and co-presented by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.

Register here.

  • Thursday, March 23, 2 to 3:30 p.m.: “An Afternoon at the Improv.”

Join us for a fun and different way of preparing for interviews and networking conversations.

Improvisational theater is unplanned or unscripted, created spontaneously by the performers. In its purest form, the dialogue, action, story and characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds.

We’ll start with fun and simple improv that has nothing to do with interviewing or the job search. As we progress, we’ll mix in some crazy situations and more performers.

Why use Improv?

  • Improv allows you to be a more positive person.
  • Improv makes you more creative.
  • Improv helps you become a team player.
  • Improv makes you a better listener.
  • Improv helps you make big choices.
  • Improv brings out your playful side.
  • Improv helps you enjoy the moment.


  • Tuesday, March 28, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: “Branding and Conducting Your Job Campaign,” with Ed Lawrence.

Tom Peters said, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.”

What does that mean we should do? It means you need to brand yourself, just as companies do.

Join us to learn about personal branding and marketing yourself.

Why do you need to know about this? Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers. Mastering personal branding puts you in the top 2 percent of applicants and greatly enhances your chance of being selected for the job.

  • Wednesday, March 29, 10 to 11 a.m.: “It isn’t Easy Being Green … or is it?”

This Savvy Seeker Series session with Rob Arrowsmith, area manager at Sunrun, explores green jobs.

Are you concerned about the environment and clean energy? Do you want to make a difference?

Green jobs contribute to preserve or restore the environment, in traditional sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, and can include technical as well as administrative opportunities.

Arrowsmith also will introduce you to job opportunities at Sunrun, a leading home solar, battery storage and energy services company.

  • Wednesday, March 29, noon to 1 p.m.: “Create the Next Meaningful Chapter in Your Life.”

Who do I want to be in the next part of my life and what is my purpose? How can I best use my strengths, talents and interests? How do I make sure that the years ahead are satisfying and fulfilling? All of these questions emerge as we enter the second half of our life.

Whether you are in transition, stuck in a job that is not a good fit, thinking about retirement, or perhaps are a new empty nester, we invite you to explore and learn how to create your next meaningful chapter. Sandy Demarest, certified Career, Leadership and Retirement Coach, will guide you through taking charge and creating what will bring you meaning, and fulfillment in your next chapter.

This event is offered by Encore Boston Network and co-presented by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.

Register here.

If no registration link is provided, register for the workshops through 50+ Job Seekers of Massachusetts through your online registration/login account at https://50plusjobseekers.org/login/. If you have questions about the process, contact 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com.

The virtual doors open 15 minutes before each program starts.

Need to reach me?

Contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.


Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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