Last Updated on February 8, 2024
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that strengthens the integrity of the H-1B program and reduces fraud in the registration process. Additionally, USCIS posted the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap season dates and will launch a new platform to allow H-1B petitioners to file online Forms I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
H-1B Cap Registration Final Rule
The final rule that USCIS published makes some key improvements to the selection process. Specifically, the program changes reduce the potential for fraud in the registration system and give all beneficiaries equal potential for being selected, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. Now, registrations will be chosen based on the unique beneficiary instead of registration, which gives all beneficiaries an equal chance of being selected regardless of the number of registrations that employers submit on their behalf.
In addition, USCIS is requiring registrants to provide either a valid passport or travel document. The passport or travel document provided must be the same documentation that the beneficiary plans to use for entering the U.S. Each beneficiary must be registered only under one passport or travel document.
The final rule also clarifies requirements regarding requested employment start dates on certain cap-subject petitions. The final rule allows for petitions to be filed with a requested start date after October 1 of the relevant fiscal year.
Lastly, the H-1B final rule allows USCIS to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the registration contained a false attestation or was otherwise invalid. USCIS can also deny or revoke an approval if it determines that the registration fee submitted is declined, disputed or invalid after submission.
FY 2025 H-1B Cap Season Dates
The initial FY 2025 H-1B cap season registration period will open at 12:00 PM (ET) on March 6, 2024. The registration period will close at 12:00 PM (ET) on March 22, 2024. Prospective employer petitioners and their representatives, if applicable, must register beneficiaries electronically through their USCIS online account and pay the corresponding registration fee.
As a reminder, USCIS previously announced that a new platform will be available to employers starting Feb. 28, 2024.
Fee Schedule Final Rule
USCIS also notes that the Fee Schedule final rule will take effect after the initial registration period for FY 2025 H-1B cap season. As a result, the registration fee will remain unchanged at $10. However, starting on April 1, 2024, the H-1B filing fee will increase from $460 to $780. In addition, USCIS will only accept the new 04/01/24 version of Form I-129.
For additional information on the H-1B cap season, USCIS encourages individuals to visit its H-1B Cap Season website.
Additionally, Envoy Global’s experienced team is here to help you get through cap season with ease. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Joy Ang, Partner, at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).
Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Envoy is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. If you would like guidance on how this information may impact your particular situation and you are a client of the U.S. Law Firm, consult your attorney. If you are not a client of the U.S. Law Firm working with Envoy, consult another qualified professional. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship with the U.S. Law Firm.