It is critical that prospective employers entering foreign national beneficiaries in the H-1B online registration lottery for fiscal year 2025 be aware of the changing rules. If the H-1B prospective employer/sponsor does not properly enter the H-1B candidate in the H-1B fiscal year 2025 online lottery registration, then they will be unable to enter the H-1B candidate again until the following H-1B lottery for fiscal year 2026. H-1B candidates may lose their nonimmigrant status in the meantime and need to depart the US.
Unless the H-1B prospective employer is not subject to the H-1B cap on visa numbers, then it must enter the H-1B candidate in the H1B lottery. The H-1B prospective employer must evaluate the H-1B case to ensure that its H-1B prospective position and the H-1B candidate qualify for the H-1B visa. The prospective H-1B employer may be penalized for entering a candidate in the lottery and then not filing the H-1B petition if the candidate is selected.
The following is a summary from AILA of the updates to the H-1B cap lottery season for fiscal year 2025, which starts on October 1, 2025:
- H-1B Registration Final Rule
- The Department of Homeland Security posted an advance copy of the final rule revising the H-1B online lottery registration system.
- USCIS published a revised Fee Schedule final rule, which will go into effect on April 1, 2024. All H-1B petitions postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, will be required to pay the following new fees:
- Form I-129
- $780 for employers with 26 or more Full-Time Employees (FTEs)
- $460 for small employers (25 or fewer FTEs) and nonprofit entities
- Asylum Program Fee – This is a new fee that will be assessed on all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions to help cover the costs of asylum adjudications. This fee should also help free up SCOPS and FOD resources that have been diverted from EB adjudications to asylum adjudications.
- $600 for employers with 26 or more Full-Time Employees (FTEs)
- $300 for small employers (25 FTEs or less)
- $0 for nonprofit organizations
- Form I-129
- The FY2025 Initial H-1B registration period will run from 12 noon (ET) on March 6, 2024, through 12 noon (ET) on March 22, 2024.
- Registrants may begin creating or upgrading to the new organizational accounts as of 12 noon ET on February 28, 2024.
- Online filing for organizational accounts will launch on February 28, 2024, for non-cap H-1B petitions.
- Organizational accounts will replace registrant accounts and will be required during the registration period.
- Accounts may begin to be created, or updated as appropriate, but must wait until March 6 to enter beneficiary information.
- H-1B cap subject online filing will open on April 1, 2024.
Please contact Attorney Monique Kornfeld for legal advice about the H-1B cap cases for the March 2024 lottery.