U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a final rule to reinforce integrity measures within the H-1B program, focusing on the FY 2025 H-1B cap initial registration period. Additionally, USCIS has unveiled an online filing option for Forms I-129 and I-907 for H-1B petitioners.
The final rule aims to enhance the H-1B registration process's integrity and reduce potential fraud by adopting a beneficiary-centric selection method. This approach ensures each beneficiary has an equal chance of selection, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. Starting with the FY 2025 initial registration period, USCIS will require registrants to provide valid passport or travel document information for each beneficiary.
Key elements of the final rule include:
- Beneficiary-centric selection process to reduce fraud and maintain fairness.
- Clarification on requested employment start date requirements for certain H-1B cap petitions.
- Codification of USCIS authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions based on invalid registrations.
- Denial or revocation of H-1B petition approval if the associated registration fee is invalid.
The initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap opens on March 6, 2024, and closes on March 22, 2024. Prospective petitioners must use a USCIS online account to register beneficiaries electronically and pay the registration fee during this period.
USCIS will launch new organizational accounts on Feb. 28, 2024, facilitating collaboration on H-1B registrations, petitions, and associated Form I-907. Online filing of Form I-129 and Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions begins on Feb. 28, with H-1B cap petitions accepted online from April 1. Paper filing options remain available for those who prefer them.
The final rule reflects feedback received during the notice of proposed rulemaking, with considerations for stakeholder input. Form I-907 filing fees will increase for inflation, effective Feb. 26, 2024. USCIS encourages stakeholders to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for comprehensive information on the revised forms and fees. During the grace period from April 1, 2024, through June 3, 2024, USCIS will accept both prior and new editions of certain forms filed with the correct fee.