The Initial Registration Period for FY 2025 H-1B Cap Lottery is to Open on March 6, 2024

Posted by Nishu Sharma | Feb 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

Recently, USCIS announced a final rule to strengthen the integrity of and reduce the potential for fraud in the H-1B registration process, including by reducing the potential for gaming the registration system and ensuring each beneficiary would have the same chance of being selected, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. USCIS also announced the initial registration period dates for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap and the launch of an online filing option for Forms I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for H-1B petitioners.

USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap will open at noon EST on March 6, 2024, and run through noon EST on March 22, 2024. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit their registrations using USCIS organizational and representative accounts. The new accounts can be opened beginning February 28, 2024. The new organizational account in the USCIS online account will allow multiple people within an organization and their legal representatives to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any associated Form I-907.  

This time, the employer/petitioner needs to pay the US Government $10.00 for each registration/per candidate. However, from the next CAP season (FY 2026) onwards, the registration fee will be increased to $215.00 per registration. 

Also, starting this time, USCIS will select registrations based on unique beneficiaries rather than by the number of registrations. Each unique beneficiary who has a registration submitted on their behalf will be entered into the selection process once, regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf. Also, now USCIS will require registrants to provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary. The passport or travel document provided must be the one the beneficiary, if or when abroad, intends to use to enter the United States if issued an H-1B visa. Each beneficiary must only be registered under one passport or travel document. If USCIS selects the beneficiary in the lottery, then each registrant who submitted a registration on the beneficiary's behalf would be notified of the selection and be eligible to file the petition on the beneficiary's behalf during the applicable petition filing period. Accordingly, if multiple unrelated companies submit registrations for a beneficiary and the beneficiary is selected, then the beneficiary will have the flexibility to determine which company or companies could submit an H-1B petition for the beneficiary. Therefore, if multiple H-1B Petitions are properly filed for a selected beneficiary, USCIS will adjudicate each petition. The new selection process will benefit beneficiaries by giving them greater autonomy to choose the employer for whom they ultimately work without decreasing their chances of selection. 

After the registration period ends, USCIS will conduct the initial lottery and notify the employers/petitioners and their agents of the selected registrations based on unique beneficiaries by March 31, 2024. The employer/petitioner has 90 days starting April 1, 2024, to file the H-1B CAP Petition with USCIS for the selected beneficiary. Also, from April 1, 2024, USCIS will begin accepting online filing for H-1B CAP petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected. Please note that Petitioners will continue to have the option of filing a paper Form I-129 H-1B petition and any associated Form I-907 if they prefer. 

In addition, on January 31, 2024, DHS/USCIS published a final rule adjusting the USCIS fee schedule in the Federal Register. Accordingly, along with the H-1B CAP Petition, the employer/petitioner must also submit $780/$460 (Filing Fees), $500 (Fraud Detection Fee), $750/$1500 (ACWIA Fee), and $300/$600 (Asylum Program Fee). Please note a small employer means 25 or fewer full-time employees. Accordingly, a small employer has to pay $2,010 per filing (H1B USCIS Fee), and a bigger employer has to pay $3,380. Also, an employer that employs 50 or more individuals in the United States and if more than 50 percent of those employees are in H-1B, L-1A, or L-1B nonimmigrant status, then that employer has to pay an additional fee of $4,000. The employer/petitioner also has the option to upgrade the petition to premium processing by paying an extra $2805.00 to USCIS. Under premium processing, USCIS adjudicates the petition within 15 days of receipt by USCIS.   

The approved H1-B CAP Petition becomes effective on or after October 1, 2024. The start date should not exceed 6 months beyond the filing date of the Petition. Now, if the H-1B CAP Petition was filed as a change of status, then the beneficiary can start working on H-1B as early as October 1, 2024, or later. Also, just so you know, if the beneficiary is abroad and the petition was filed as a consular processing, then the beneficiary, after getting the approval, needs to obtain the H-1B visa from the consulate. 


We regularly update our blog section to acquaint the community with the latest changes in Immigration policies. Please note the information in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should it be construed as legal advice. We can promptly and efficiently represent clients located anywhere in the US or abroad on US Immigration Policies. If you seek further clarification, don't hesitate to contact SanSha Law Office at [email protected] or call us at 469-777-6161.

About the Author

Nishu Sharma

Ms Nishu Sharma is the founder and Managing Attorney of SanSha Law Offices PLLC. It was founded on the principle and commitment to serve the people with the best service that we can provide. The firm has served clients from Texas and other states of the US. She has handled all kinds of complex im...


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