Washington, D.C. USCIS will open 2024 H-1B electronic registration from March 6th through March 22nd, 2024 for the lottery under fiscal year 2025 H-1B Cap. The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on those electronic registrations and it will notify the employer or the attorney on selected entries on the first draw by March 31st. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The agency may determine it is necessary to continue accepting registrations, or open an additional registration period, if it does not receive enough registrations and subsequent petitions projected to reach the numerical allocations.
H-1B Electronic Registration for the Lottery Selection
Under this process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap, or their authorized representatives, will complete a registration process that requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker. For this year, USCIS will open H-1B electronic registration period in March 2024. The agency may determine it is necessary to continue accepting registrations, or open an additional registration period, if it does not receive enough registrations and subsequent petitions projected to reach the numerical allocations.
DHS formally created the H-1B registration requirement in the final rule, Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens (PDF), published on Jan. 31, 2019, and effective on April 1, 2019. DHS intends to publish a notice in the Federal Register in the coming weeks to formally announce implementation of the H-1B registration system and provide additional details on the process.
For the H-1B lottery registration, the DHS requires a non-refundable $10 fee, which we must pay online for each registration using the pay.gov portal. Payment can be made via ACH transfer from a bank account, a credit card, or a debit card. This fee is in addition to the filing fees the employers will have to pay later with the petition if the employee is selected in the cap lottery.
Employers or their attorneys are prohibited from submitting more than one registration for the same prospective H-1B employee. USCIS has created a tool to allow employers and their attorneys to check for duplicate registrations.
What Employer Should I Do Now?
Schedule a meeting with attorney’s office before the registration period to discuss prospective H-1B petitions and whether the job and the individual would qualify for an H-1B. You should also discuss the timing of filing your H-1B petition with your attorney. To do this, you should:
- Gather all relevant information about the job and the prospective employee’s qualifications
- Call your attorney’s office with any questions.
Be prepared to discuss your expectations for processing your registration and how quickly a petition needs to be filed if selected. Your attorney can also discuss options if your registration is not selected.
Important Registration Dates
- February 28: Attorney’s office may begin creating myUSCIS H-1B registration accounts.
- March 06: Registration period opens at 12:00 noon (ET).
- March 22: Registration period closes at 12:00 noon (ET).
- By March 31: USCIS conducts the lottery and electronically notifies selected registrants.
- April 1: Filing period begins for selected cases ONLY.
What is an H-1B?
In the United States, the H-1B program enables any business or the organization in the U.S. to sponsor H-1B to hire a skilled foreign workers for a period of time. In particular, that category is an occupation that uses highly specialized knowledge, and also requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a related field. One can also qualify based on required progressive and professional work experience with a combination of education other than a bachelor’s degree or a degree in an unrelated field.
When is the H-1B open to applicants?
Pursuant to immigration regulations, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would accept the 2024 H-1B registration process for FY2025 from March 1 through March 18, 2024.
How Do I Know If I Qualify for H-1B?
To qualify for H-1B, there must be:
- An offer of employment from a U.S. employer.
- For a job that qualifies as “specialty occupation,” i.e., at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field or its equivalent (or its foreign equivalent, and related work experience can count towards the educational requirement), and beneficiary possess a required qualification.
- Employer promises to pay the prevailing wage or offered wage, whichever is higher. The employer also needs to pay the filing fees of $460, $500 and $750 (or $1500 if the employer has more than 25 employees). We have provide further information in this H-1B section post.
What Does the General Process Look Like?
USCIS utilizes an electronic registration and selection process. The U.S. employer, during the initial registration window period, will need to satisfy three elements:
- The employer or its attorney must submit the completed H-1B online registration and pay a $10 registration fee.
- If selected, the employer should obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor.
- The H-1B petition, certified LCA and other supporting documents must be submitted within 90 days of selection.
In determining whether there are enough registrations to meet the H-1B regular cap, USCIS considers all properly submitted registrations relating to the beneficiaries that may be counted under the regular cap, including those also eligible for U.S. Master/PhD’s cap. After USCIS has determined it will no longer accept registrations under the Regular Cap, it will determine if there is a sufficient number of remaining registrations to meet the H-1B advanced degree exemption.
If approved, the initial period of stay is up to three years. Foreign nationals subject to the 212(e) two-year home residence requirement are not eligible for H-1B visa. Employees can have multiple concurrent H-1B petitioners. Dual Intent is recognized. H-1B dependents may study but generally not work in the U.S. unless the H-1B employee’s extension is based on AC21.
Have There Been Any Recent Changes?
Not really, there were some substantial changes in H-1B policies based on prior federal lawsuits and some lawsuits in response to Trump Administration’s executive actions. Since then there have not been much changes in the programs.
News and alerts for the H-1B program as well as other areas of immigration law are updated here frequently.
Can Adhikari Law Help?
Yes. Adhikari Law will be delighted to provide you and your employer our legal counsel for the entire H-1B process. Please do not hesitate to submit a contact form and we will respond shortly.
Alternatively, please call or e-mail us today to schedule a legal consultation:
Phone: 202-600-7742 (office), 888-820-44330 (toll-free)
Background about the H-1B Electronic Registration system
USCIS had completed a successful pilot testing phase and implemented the registration process for the H-1B lottery cases in 2020. We had posted a news article about the USCIS proposal to implement H-1B registration process. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2021 cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated H-1B registration fee. The electronic registration process will dramatically streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, and will provide an overall cost savings to petitioning employers.
USCIS had announced that to give it more time to develop, test, and implement the modifications to the H-1B registration system and selection process.
[Last updated Feb 27, 2024]
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