The upcoming H-1B lottery for Fiscal Year 2025 marks a significant shift in the registration and selection process for professional foreign workers seeking employment in the United States. With the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introducing a Final Rule on February 2, 2024, aimed at enhancing the integrity of the H-1B registration process, employers and their legal representatives must stay informed of these changes to effectively participate in the lottery. This blog post outlines the critical updates and recommended actions for employers preparing for the FY2025 H-1B lottery.
Key Dates and Changes for the FY2025 H-1B Lottery
Registration Period: The H-1B registration window for FY2025 will open at noon EST on March 6, 2024, and close at noon EST on March 22, 2024. Employers must submit their H-1B registrations within this timeframe through the USCIS online portal.
Organizational Accounts: Starting February 28, 2024, USCIS will introduce new organizational accounts, offering an enhanced platform for employers to manage H-1B registrations and petitions. These accounts will replace previous myUSCIS accounts, streamlining the filing process.
Selection Process Based on Beneficiaries: The FY2025 lottery has a major change with the introduction of a selection process based on beneficiaries. This new method guarantees equal selection chances for each beneficiary, regardless of how many registrations are submitted for them, supporting fairness and lowering possible fraud.
Fee Adjustments: The registration fee remains at $10 for this year. However, starting April 1, 2024, the H-1B filing fees will see an increase, impacting employers’ budget planning for the H-1B petition filings.
H-1B Cap and Registration Insights
The H-1B program allocates 85,000 cap numbers annually, with 65,000 under the Regular Cap and an additional 20,000 under the Master’s Cap. The demand significantly exceeds the available slots, as evidenced by the record-breaking 780,884 registrations for FY2024. The new beneficiary-centric selection process aims to level the playing field for all participants, potentially improving selection odds compared to previous years.
Preparing for the H-1B Registration
Employers should act promptly to identify potential candidates within their organization or external candidates they wish to sponsor. This includes:
- Foreign national employees currently on CPT or OPT, including those with STEM OPT.
- Employees on other nonimmigrant visas (e.g., L-1, TN) expiring before October 1, 2025.
- Potential hires currently abroad.
- Former employees you might consider rehiring.
Given the immediate changes, seeking experienced legal counsel is advisable to navigate the complexities of the H-1B registration and filing processes effectively.
The FY2025 H-1B lottery presents new challenges and opportunities for employers seeking to sponsor foreign national professionals. By understanding the significant changes, preparing adequately, and seeking expert guidance, employers can navigate the H-1B lottery process with confidence. As the registration window approaches, now is the time to review your foreign national employee roster and strategize your submissions for the upcoming lottery.
If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing email@example.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at www.visaserve.com for more information.