H-1B Visa Registration for Fiscal Year 2025 Set to Commence on March 6 Following US System Overhaul

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The US just rolled out a new rule aimed at tightening up the H-1B visa scene. Now, instead of the old system, they’re going with a beneficiary-focused selection process, going all-in on electronic registration and petition handling, and making sure each H-1B hopeful has legit passport or travel document info on file.

Plus, USCIS has the green light to shoot down or pull the plug on any H-1B applications that try to sneak in with fake deets or bogus registrations.

The United States Introduces Final Rule to Strengthen H-1B Visa System

The United States has unveiled a final rule aimed at combating fraud and streamlining the H-1B visa registration process, with the goal of bolstering the integrity of the system.

This significant overhaul of the H-1B visa, widely utilized by American companies to employ foreign workers with specialized skills, particularly in the technology sector, represents a concerted effort to enhance procedural efficiency while safeguarding against fraudulent activities.

USCIS Director Highlights Integrity Enhancements

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou expressed the agency’s commitment to fortifying integrity measures and simplifying application procedures, noting that the amendments will promote fairness for both petitioners and beneficiaries.

Under the revised regulations, emphasis is placed on a beneficiary-centric selection process for registrations, a departure from the previous system that prioritized the volume of submissions. This shift is intended to mitigate the potential for exploitation and ensure equitable treatment of all beneficiaries.

Key Features of the Final Rule

Commencing with the initial registration period for fiscal year 2025, registrants are required to furnish valid passport or travel document information for each beneficiary, a measure aimed at enhancing data accuracy and authenticity.

Furthermore, the final rule formalizes USCIS‘ authority to reject or rescind H-1B petitions containing false attestations or fraudulent registrations. Additionally, USCIS reserves the right to decline or invalidate petition approvals in cases where the associated registration fee is not reconciled or is found to be invalid post-submission.

Flexibility and Fee Schedule

Flexibility is afforded regarding the requested employment start date for certain petitions subject to the congressionally mandated H-1B cap, allowing for filings with start dates beyond October 1 of the relevant fiscal year, in alignment with existing policy.

The Fee Schedule final rule, effective following the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap, maintains the registration fee at $10 during the registration period commencing in March 2024.

Upcoming 2025 H-1B Season Procedures

The upcoming 2025 H-1B season will see the initiation of the registration period on March 6, 2024, requiring prospective petitioners to utilize a USCIS online account for electronic registration of each beneficiary.

Concurrently, online filing for Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions will commence on February 28, 2024. Petitioners with selected registrations may commence online filing for H-1B cap petitions and associated forms on April 1, 2024. While paper forms remain an option, USCIS encourages the utilization of the online filing system for its efficiency.

Fee Adjustment Notice

It is noteworthy that USCIS will implement a filing fee increase for Form I-907, effective February 26, 2024, to adjust for inflation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the H-1B visa registration process?

The H-1B visa registration process involves prospective petitioners submitting electronic registrations for each intended beneficiary during specified registration periods. This initial step is crucial for entering the H-1B visa lottery.

Who is required to register for the H-1B visa lottery?

Prospective employers seeking to sponsor foreign workers for H-1B visas must register each intended beneficiary for the lottery. This includes employers in various industries, particularly those in need of specialized skills, such as technology companies.

What information is needed for H-1B visa registration?

During registration, prospective petitioners are required to provide basic information about the intended beneficiary, including their name, date of birth, country of birth, and passport or travel document information. Additional details may be necessary depending on USCIS requirements.

When does the H-1B visa registration period typically occur?

The H-1B visa registration period typically opens several weeks before the start of the fiscal year for which the visas are available. Registrants must ensure they submit their registrations within the specified timeframe to be considered for the lottery.

How does the H-1B visa lottery selection process work?

Once the registration period closes, USCIS conducts a random selection process, often referred to as the lottery, to determine which registrations are selected for further processing. Only those selected in the lottery are eligible to submit complete H-1B visa petitions.

What happens after a registration is selected in the H-1B visa lottery?

If a registration is selected in the lottery, the petitioner is notified and given a specified period to submit a complete H-1B visa petition for the selected beneficiary. This petition must include all required documentation and fees to be considered for approval.

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