USCIS Announces Key FY 2025 H-1B Cap Season Reminders

On March 25, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap season closed following an extension.  

USCIS will begin its random selection process to select from properly submitted H-1B registrations. Once USCIS has selected enough registrations for the H-1B cap and master’s cap, prospective petitioners with selected beneficiaries will be notified that a cap-subject H-1B petition may be filed for the beneficiary.  

Change in Form I-129 Filing Location 

USCIS reminds individuals that starting on April 1, 2024, all paper-based H-1B and H-1B1 Form I-129 petitions must be filed at USCIS lockbox locations. USCIS will no longer accept Form I-129 petitions for H-1B and H-1B1 petitions filed at USCIS service centers. Any H-1B or H-1B1 petition received at a USCIS service center on April 1, 2024, or later will be rejected. The change in filing location applies to all H-1B Form I-129 petitions, including cap-subject, cap-exempt and non-cap petitions.  

USCIS will not provide a grace period for forms filed at the incorrect location, and it may reject a petition filed at the incorrect location. If USCIS rejects an H-1B cap-subject petition filed at the improper location, the petition may be refiled online or at the correct location, provided it is refiled within the 90-day filing window provided on the selection notice. Note that USCIS has specific mailing addresses for petitions filed for cap-subject H-1B cases. Those addresses are available on the Form I-129 Direct Filing Addresses page of USCIS’s website.  

New Filing Fee and Form I-129 Edition  

USCIS reminds applicants that new fees will take effect on April 1, 2024. Petitions that are postmarked on April 1, 2024, or after must include the new fees, if applicable. Otherwise, USCIS will reject the petition. The fee adjustment will affect most immigration applications and petitions.  

Further, starting on April 1, 2024, a new edition of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, will replace the existing edition. Applicants must use the new Form I-129 starting on April 1, 2024, as it is subject to the new fees. USCIS will accept the current (05/31/23) edition of Form I-129 if it is postmarked before April 1, 2024, but it will not accept that edition postmarked on or after April 1, 2024. USCIS will only accept the new (04/01/24) edition of Form I-129 postmarked on or after April 1, 2024. For convenience, USCIS has provided specific instructions regarding the new Form I-129.  

Additional Impacts to Fees and Form Editions 

In addition to upcoming changes for Form I-129, other forms will be impacted starting on April 1, 2024. Please see our related blog for additional information on changes to other fees and form editions.   

Prepaid Mailers  

As of March 25, 2024, USCIS is no longer using prepaid mailers for any communication or final notices pertaining to H-1B and H-1B1 petitions. Instead, the process of delivering H-1B petition approval notices is entirely automated, and MyUSCIS account holders will receive an email or text message if there is a case status change in their account. They will receive a paper notice by mail following the electronic notice.  

Contact Us for Your H-1B Visa Needs

Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Anne Walsh and Joy Ang, Partners, 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.