+1(212)459-3800 [email protected]

In a major announcement, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a series of impactful changes aimed at fortifying the integrity of the H-1B registration process for the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY 2025) cap. The final rule brings about a beneficiary-centric selection process, emphasizing unique beneficiary selection to curb fraud. This includes mandatory submission of valid passport information and flexibility in employment start dates. USCIS also gains the authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions with false attestations or invalid registrations. Additionally, a fee schedule final rule maintains the registration fee at $10 for the upcoming March 2024 registration period, with a subsequent increase for Form I-907. The introduction of organizational accounts and online filing options for Forms I-129 and I-907 further streamlines the process. The article delves into the specifics of these changes, providing a comprehensive understanding of USCIS’s initiatives for the upcoming H-1B cap season.

Here is a brief overview of the updates:

  1. Final Rule Enhancements:
    • Introduction of a Beneficiary-Centric Selection Process:
      • Shift from registration-based to unique beneficiary selection.
      • Objective: Ensure equal chance of selection for each beneficiary.
    • Mandatory Submission of Valid Passport or Travel Document Information:
      • Requirement for FY 2025 initial registration period.
      • Passport or travel document must match the one for intended U.S. entry.
    • Clarification on Employment Start Dates for Certain Petitions:
      • Allows filing with start dates after Oct. 1 of the relevant fiscal year.
    • Authority for USCIS to Deny or Revoke Invalid H-1B Petitions:
      • Denial or revocation if registration contains false attestations.
      • Denial or revocation if registration fee is declined, not reconciled, disputed, or found otherwise invalid.
  2. Fee Schedule Final Rule:
    • Implementation Post FY 2025 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period:
      • Effective date post initial registration period for FY 2025.
    • Maintenance of the Registration Fee at $10 during the March 2024 Registration Period.
    • Upcoming Fee Increase for Form I-907 Effective Feb. 26, 2024:
      • Adjustment for inflation.
      • Rejection of Form I-907 submissions with incorrect filing fee postmarked on or after this date.
  3. Online Form Filing:
    • Launch of Organizational Accounts on Feb. 28, 2024:
      • Allows collaboration within organizations.
    • Facilitation of Collaboration within Organizations:
      • Enables preparation of H-1B registrations, petitions, and Form I-907.
    • Commencement of Online Filing for Form I-129 and Associated Form I-907 for Non-Cap H-1B Petitions.
    • Acceptance of Online Filing for H-1B Cap Petitions and Associated Forms I-907 for Selected Registrations Starting April 1.
      • Petitioners retain the option to file a paper Form I-129 and Form I-907.
  4. Registration Start and End Dates:
    • FY 2025 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period:
      • Opens at Noon Eastern on March 6, 2024.
      • Closes at Noon Eastern on March 22, 2024.
      • Prospective petitioners must use a USCIS online account.
      • Electronic registration of beneficiaries required.
      • Payment of associated registration fee during this period.
  5. Form Updates and Preview:
    • Release of New Edition of Form I-129 Incorporating Final Rule Changes:
      • Available for preview on uscis.gov.
  6. Inflation-Adjusted Fee Reminder:
    • Form I-907 Fee Increase Effective Feb. 26, 2024:
      • Adjusted for inflation.
      • Rejection of Form I-907 submissions with incorrect filing fee postmarked on or after this date.
      • Postmark date for commercial courier filings is the date on the courier receipt.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our dedicated team is here to support you through the petition process and address any concerns you may have.