- USCIS has issued a final rule to strengthen H-1B program integrity and reduce fraud
- FY 2025 H-1B cap season dates have also been announced
- Registration for cap season is open March 6, 2024 – March 22, 2024
- A new platform will be available for employers and legal representatives on February 28, 2024
- The registration fee for FY 2025 H-1B cap season remains at $10
- Registrants must provide either valid travel documents or a valid passport for every beneficiary
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a final rule to strengthen the integrity of the H-1B program and reduce fraud in the registration process. Additionally, USCIS has announced fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap season dates and launched online filing for H-1B petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
FY 2025 H-1B Cap Season Dates
This year, the initial FY 2025 H-1B cap season registration period will open at 12:00 PM (ET) on March 6, 2024. The registration period will close at 12:00 PM (ET) on March 22, 2024. If applicable, prospective petitioners and their representatives must register every beneficiary electronically through their USCIS online account and pay the corresponding registration fee.
As a reminder, USCIS previously announced that a new platform will be available for employers starting February 28, 2024.
H-1B Cap Registration Final Rule
The final rule makes some significant changes to the selection process. Specifically, the program changes aim to reduce the potential for fraud in the registration system and give all beneficiaries equal potential for being selected, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. Now, registrations will be chosen based on each unique beneficiary (beneficiary-centric selection process) instead of registration, giving all beneficiaries an equal chance of being selected, regardless of the number of registrations employers submit on their behalf.
New for the FY 2025 H-1B cap season, and to enable the beneficiary-centric selection process, USCIS requires registrants to provide either valid travel document information or passport information for every beneficiary. The passport or travel document provided must be the same documentation that the beneficiary plans to use for entering the US if they are issued an H-1B visa. Every beneficiary must be registered only under one travel document or passport.
Additionally, the final rule clarifies requirements regarding requested employment start dates on certain cap-subject petitions. The final rule allows petitions to be filed with a requested start date after October 1 of the relevant fiscal year.
Lastly, the H-1B final rule allows USCIS to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the registration contained a false attestation or was otherwise invalid. USCIS can also deny or rescind an H-1B petition’s approval if it determines that the registration fee submitted is declined, disputed, or invalid after submission.
Registration Fee and New Form Edition
USCIS also notes that the Fee Schedule final rule will take effect after the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap season. As a result, the registration fee will remain unchanged at $10. However, starting on April 1, 2024, USCIS will only accept the new April 1, 2024 version of Form I-129.
For additional information on the H-1B cap season, USCIS encourages individuals to visit its H-1B Cap Season website.
Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)