EIG Preview: FY 2025 H-1B Cap Season & Other Updates

On January 30, 2024, USCIS announced two long-anticipated final rules related to the FY2025 H-1B cap season: “Improving the H-1B Registration Selection Process and Program Integrity” and “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements,” as well as the initial H-1B registration period for the FY2025 H-1B cap.

H-1B Registration Final Rule

The new rule, “Improving the H-1B Registration Selection Process and Program Integrity,” modifies the selection process for H-1B registrations, start date flexibility for certain H-1B cap-subject petitions, and adds additional integrity measures.

The final rule’s most significant change is that USCIS will select registrations by unique beneficiary instead of selecting by registration.

  • Each unique beneficiary will be entered into the selection process once, regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf.

  • If a beneficiary is selected, each employer registrant will be notified of the beneficiary’s selection and will be eligible to file a petition on that beneficiary’s behalf during the applicable petition filing period.

  • USCIS will adjudicate each selected registration, even when filed by multiple employers on behalf of the same beneficiary.

Why it matters: This updated process creates a level playing field where an individual with a single job offer and an individual with multiple job offers have an equal opportunity to be selected.

FY2025 H-1B Registration Period

USCIS has announced that the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 6, 2024, and run through noon Eastern on March 22, 2024.

  • If enough unique beneficiaries are registered by March 22, as projected to reach the H-1B numerical allocations, USCIS will randomly select from among those unique beneficiaries and send selection notifications via users’ USCIS online accounts to the prospective petitioners who properly submitted registrations for those selected beneficiaries.

  • If enough unique beneficiaries are not registered, all of the properly registered beneficiaries will be selected.

  • USCIS intends to notify account holders and upload selection notifications to their accounts by March 31.

Online Filing & Organizational Accounts

On February 28, 2024, USCIS will launch the previously announced new organizational accounts in the USCIS online account that 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.

  • Registrants will be able to create new accounts beginning at noon Eastern on Feb. 28, 2024. 

  • Those who have an existing registrant account can easily upgrade to an organizational account instead of creating a new account.

  • Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 6 to enter beneficiary information and submit the registration with the $10 fee.

Also on February 28, USCIS will launch online filing of Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions.

On April 1, USCIS will begin accepting online filing of Form I-129 for H-1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected, and who choose the online filing option.

  • USCIS also announced the Fee Schedule final rule. That rule will go into effect after the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap. Therefore, the registration fee during the registration period starting in March 2024 will remain $10.

  • A new edition of Form I-129 with the H-1B Registration final rule and Fee Schedule final rule changes will soon be available to preview on uscis.gov (edition date 04/01/24). On April 1, 2024, only the 04/01/24 edition of Form I-129 will be accepted.

  • USCIS recently announced a final rule that will increase the filing fee for Form I-907, to adjust for inflation. The fee change will go into effect on Feb. 26, 2024. If USCIS receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after Feb. 26, 2024, with the incorrect filing fee, USCIS will reject the Form I-907 and return the filing fee. For filings sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

Erickson Immigration Group, in concert with our government affairs team and resources on Capitol Hill, will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.