On January 30, 2024, USCIS announced a final rule aimed at strengthening the H-1B program’s online lottery registration process.
Fiscal Year H-1B Cap Initial Lottery Registration Period
The H-1B initial lottery registration period for the upcoming FY 2025 H-1B cap will open at 12 pm Eastern on March 6, 2024, and it will close at 12 pm on March 22, 2024. During this H-1B registration period, H-1B prospective employers and their representatives, if applicable, must use a USCIS online account to register each prospective H-1B cap beneficiary electronically for H-1B lottery selection process and pay the associated H-1B lottery registration fee for each prospective H-1B cap beneficiary.
H-1B Electronic Lottery Registration
The final rule includes several provisions to ensure that the H-1B lottery registration and selection process is fair for all entrants.
- One registration per beneficiary: Each qualified worker may be entered into the registration process once, barring multiple employers from registering one beneficiary and gaming the system for that H-1B beneficiary.
- Travel document verification: Valid passports or travel documents become mandatory for registrations. The passport or travel document provided during the registration must be the same one that the beneficiary will use to receive an H-1B visa stamp.
- Start date flexibility: Petitions can now include requested start dates beyond October 1st.
- Enhanced fraud prevention: USCIS gains power to deny/revoke petitions with false information or invalid fees.
- Registration fee: The fee of $10 will remain for the March 2024 H-1B registration period. The fee will increase after the initial registration period for the Fiscal Year 2025 H-1B cap.
- New form edition and filing fee: Starting April 1, 2024, USCIS will only accept the new edition of the Form I-129 and the new filing fee for the Form I-129.
New Organizational Accounts and Online Filing of Forms I-129 and I-907
USCIS previously announced that H-1B organizational accounts will become available on February 28, 2024. Organizational accounts will be available in the USCIS online account, and it will allow multiple people within a company and their legal representative to collaborate on, prepare and file H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any associated Form I-907 (Premium Processing). On April 1, 2024, after the H-1B announces the H-1B lottery results, USCIS will begin accepting the online filing of H-1B cap petitions and associated Form I-907 for those registrations who have been selected.
USCIS will also launch online filing of Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions, available on February 28, 2024. The H-1B petitioners can continue to file a paper Form I-129 and Form I-907 if they prefer, but there will be no ability to link the paper filed H-1B petitions to the organizational accounts during the initial launch of the organizational accounts.
Please contact Attorney Monique Kornfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about or assistance with an H-1B petition.