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USCIS Publishes Updates for FY 2025 H-1B Cap Season

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On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced crucial updates for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap season, aiming to enhance the integrity of the H-1B registration process and streamline application procedures.

H-1B Registration Final Rule:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finalized certain provisions of the H-1B Registration final rule. This final rule introduces changes to the H-1B registration selection process.

Key Points of The Final Rule:

  1. Beneficiary-Centric Selection Process:
    • USCIS will select H-1B registrations by unique beneficiary rather than by the number of registrations that are submitted on their behalf.
  2. Start Date Flexibility:
    • Certain H-1B cap-subject petitions can now be filed with requested start dates after October 1 of the relevant fiscal year.
  3. Integrity Measures:
    • USCIS has codified its ability to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the underlying registration contains false information.
    • A new provision allows USCIS to deny or revoke the approval of an H-1B petition if the fee associated with the registration is declined or deemed invalid after submission.

Fee Schedule and New Form Rule:

The H-1B registration fee for FY 2025, for H-1B registrations submitted in March 2024, will remain unchanged at $10. Starting in March 2025, the filing fee for H-1B registrations will increase to $215. USCIS will soon release the new edition of Form I-129, which will be the only accepted version starting April 1, 2024.

FY 2025 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period:

The initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap is set to open at 12pm EST on March 6, 2024, and will conclude at 12pm EST on March 22, 2024. Notably, registrants must provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary.

Online Filing:

USCIS will launch organizational accounts in the USCIS online account starting at 12 pm EST on February 28, 2024, which will facilitate collaboration for multiple individuals within an organization and their legal representatives. This feature aims to simplify the preparation of H-1B registrations, petitions, and associated Form I-907.

Prospective petitioners and their legal representatives are required to use an organizational account, and starting on March 6, 2024, enter beneficiary information and submit the registration with the $10 fee. Online filing for Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions will commence on February 28, 2024, with H-1B cap petitions accepted online starting from April 1, 2024, for selected registrations.

Important Reminders:

  1. Paper filing location for Forms I-129 and associated Forms I-907 will transition to the USCIS lockbox, with new filing addresses to be announced in March 2024.
  2. The filing fee for Form I-907 will increase, effective February 26, 2024.

With the changes made to this year’s H-1B registration process, the hope is that this will allow for even more collaboration by both the H-1B employer and its legal representatives, if applicable. More importantly, there is hope that this will also cut down the potential for H-1B registrants to manipulate the system and allow each beneficiary to have fairer opportunity to be selected in the H-1B registration lottery. We will closely follow the implementation process and we advise readers to check our website regularly for any further developments.



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