USCIS Announces New H1B Program Measures

Summary

This final rule contains provisions that will create a beneficiary-centric selection process for registrations by employers, codify start date flexibility for certain petitions, and add more integrity measures related to the registration process.

On January 30, USCIS announced a final rule to reduce the potential for fraud in the H-1B registration process, by ensuring each beneficiary would have the same chance of being selected, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. USCIS is also announcing 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 and Form I-907.

H-1B Registration Final Rule

This final rule contains provisions that will create a beneficiary-centric selection process for registrations by employers, codify start date flexibility for certain petitions, and add more integrity measures related to the registration process.

Under the beneficiary centric process, registrations will be selected by unique beneficiary rather than by registration. This new process is designed to reduce the potential for fraud and ensure each beneficiary would have the same chance of being selected, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf by an employer. Starting with the FY 2025 initial registration period, 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.

USCIS is also clarifying requirements regarding the requested employment start date on certain petitions subject to the congressionally mandated H-1B cap to permit filing with requested start dates that are after Oct. 1 of the relevant fiscal year, consistent with current policy.

Additionally, the H-1B final rule codifies USCIS’ ability to deny or revoke H-1B petitions where the underlying registration contained a false attestation or was otherwise invalid. Also under the new rule, USCIS may deny or revoke the approval of an H-1B petition if it determines that the fee associated with the registration is declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid after submission.

The registration fee during the registration period starting in March 2024, will remain $10.

FY 2025 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period

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. During this period, prospective petitioners and their representatives, if applicable, must use a USCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated registration fee for each beneficiary.   

Organizational Accounts and Online Filing for Forms I-129 and I-907

On Feb. 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. 

Also on Feb. 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 for H-1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *