USCIS announced a final rule to strengthen integrity measures and reduce potential fraud in the H-1B visa registration and selection process for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. USCIS also announced the dates for the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap, along with the introduction of online filing options for Form I-129 and I-907. 

The H-1B final rule aims to establish a beneficiary-centric selection process for registration done by employers. In the beneficiary-centric approach, the selection in the registration process will be based on individual beneficiaries rather than on the registration itself. This new method aims to minimize the risk of potential frauds and ensure equal opportunities for each beneficiary to be selected, no matter the number of registrations submitted by the employers.  

H1B FY 2025

For FY 2025 initial registration period, USCIS will require the registrants to provide the valid passport or travel document that each beneficiary will use to enter the United States. Each beneficiary must only be registered under one valid passport or travel document 

The final rule on H-1B solidifies USCIS’ authority to reject or annul H-1B petitions in cases where the initial registration includes false statements or was otherwise deemed invalid. Also, according to the new rule, USCIS can deny or withdraw the approval of an H-1B petition if it finds that the registration fee is declined, not reconciled, disputed, or considered invalid after the submission. 

Furthermore, USCIS has introduced the Fee Schedule final rule, which will become effective after the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap. As a result, the registration fee for the period starting in March 2024, will remain $10.  

The initial registration window for the FY 2025 H-1B cap will begin at 12pm Eastern on March 6, 2024 and conclude at 12pm Eastern on March 22,2024. Throughout this timeframe, potential petitioners and their representatives, when applicable, are required to use a USCIS online account to electronically register each beneficiary for the selection process and submit the registration fee for each beneficiary. 

Starting on February 28, 2024, USCIS will introduce the newly announced organizational accounts within the USCIS online platform. These accounts will enable multiple individuals within an organization and their legal representatives to collaborate and prepare H1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any associated Form I-907 

Additionally, on the same date, February 28, USCIS will initiate the online filing option for Form I-129 and its associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions. On April 1, USCIS will start accepting online filings for H-1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected.  

While petitioners still have the choice to submit a paper Form I-129 H-1B petition and any associated Form I-907 if they prefer, during the initial launch of organizational accounts, users will not be able to connect paper-filed Forms I-129 and I-907 to their online accounts.  

New fees in 2024

Lastly, USCIS announced a final rule indicating an upcoming adjustment in the filing fee for Form I-907 to account for inflation, starting from February 26, 2024. If USCIS receives a FromI-907 postmarked on or after February 26, 2024, with an incorrect filling fee, the form will be rejected and the filing fee will be returned.