The FY 2025 H1B Cap registration period will begin on March 6, 2024 and end on March 22, 2024!
Prospective petitioners and their representatives will be able to complete and submit their H-1B Cap registrations using the online H-1B registration system starting on March 6th. A $10 non-refundable H-1B registration fee will be required to be paid for each beneficiary.
Employers seeking to file H-1B Cap petitions in the FY 2025 H1B Cap must complete the H-1B Cap registration process electronically using a myUSCIS online account during this initial registration period. On February 28, 2024, USCIS will launch the previously announced new organizational accounts in the USCIS online account. The updated system will allow multiple people within an organization and their legal representatives to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any associated requests for Premium Processing. They will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.
At the end of the initial H-1B Cap registration period on March 22, USCIS is expected to conduct the H-1B Lottery and will send selection notifications through the employers’ myUSCIS online accounts. An H-1B Cap petition, including petitions under the H-1B Masters’ Cap, can only be filed for beneficiaries whose registration(s) were selected in the H-1B Cap registration lottery. The results of the H-1B Lottery are expected to be known by March 31.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS also announced several changes to the H-1B cap lottery process for this year. Some of the key changes include:
- Beneficiary Centric Selection Process – DHS is implementing a beneficiary centric selection process for H-1B registrations. Instead of selecting by registration, USCIS will make selections based on each unique beneficiary. Each beneficiary who has a registration submitted on their behalf will be entered into the selection process only once regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf by different employers. Once a beneficiary is selected, all employers that submitted a registration on that beneficiary’s behalf will be notified of the beneficiary’s selection and will be eligible to file a petition during the applicable petition filing period.
- Beneficiary’s Passport Requirement – Registrations must include the beneficiary’s valid passport or valid travel document information and each beneficiary can only be registered under one passport or travel document (the passport number was previously optional). If USCIS determines that registrations were submitted by either the same or different prospective petitioners for the same beneficiary using different identifying information, USCIS may find those registrations invalid and deny or revoke the approval of any H-1B petition filed based on those registrations. For example, even if a beneficiary is a citizen of more than one country and has more than 1 passport, H-1B registrations should only be submitted using one of those passports. This is true across registrations submitted by different and/or unrelated employers.
Additionally, the passport or travel document used must be the same passport or travel document that the beneficiary intends to use to enter the United States, whether the beneficiary is abroad at time of registration or the beneficiary is in the United States at the time of registration and will subsequently depart to obtain an H-1B visa and return to the United States to request admission as an H-1B nonimmigrant. Any H-1B petition filed on behalf of a beneficiary must contain and be supported by the same identifying information provided in the selected registration, and petitioners must submit evidence of the passport or travel document used at the time of registration to identify the beneficiary. In its discretion, USCIS may find that a change in identifying information in some circumstances would be permissible. Such circumstances could include, but are not limited to, a legal name change due to marriage, change in gender identity, or a change in passport number or expiration date due to renewal or replacement of a stolen passport, in between the time of registration and filing the petition.
- Online Filing of H-1B Petition – On April 1, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions and associated Form I-907 requests for Premium Processing. This year, employers will have the option of filing the forms online or via traditional mail-in method. Starting April 1, 2024, only the new edition of Form I-129 (edition date 04/01/24) will be accepted.
Form I-539 for H-4 dependents and/or accompanying Form I-765 for the Employment Authorization Document cannot be submitted online with the H-1B petitions.
We will continue to monitor the developments related to the H-1B Cap 2024 filing requirements and will keep our readers updated.
If you have any questions regarding the H1B visa program, or need help submitting an H-1B Cap registration, contact VisaPro Law Firm today. VisaPro attorneys helped clients’ secure near 100% approval with H-1B Cap filings in the past 5 years. We’ll talk through your priorities and recommend strategies for March 2024 H-1B registrations based on our attorney’s prior success.