H-1B Cap FY 2025: Registration Deadline & USCIS Updates

Khabar Lekh
5 Min Read

For the FY 2025 H-1B cap season, the first registration window ended on March 25, 2024. The H-1B cap for fiscal year 2025 will be reached through the random selection of a sufficient number of unique beneficiaries from submitted registrations, including the master’s cap for advanced degree exemption. The USCIS will notify all prospective petitioners whose beneficiaries are selected, of their eligibility to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for such beneficiaries.

Petitioners for H-1B and H-1B1 (HSC) must cease filing Form I-129 at USCIS service centers on April 1, 2024. Form I-129 H-1B and H-1B1 (HSC) applications on paper must be submitted to USCIS lockbox locations. This covers H-1B filings that are cap-exempt, non-cap, and cap-exempt.
On or after April 1, 2024, H-1B or H-1B1 (HSC) applications filed in a USCIS service center will be denied by USCIS. There won’t be a grace period offered. For cases that fall under the H-1B cap, USCIS has designated mailing addresses.

What to do when a petition is submitted in the incorrect area

A petition may be rejected by USCIS if it is filed in the incorrect location. Petition rejections will not keep their filing date. A petition may be refiled online or at the proper place if USCIS rejects it because it was submitted at the incorrect address. Petitions relating to the H-1B cap might be refiled on the web or at the suitable area, given that they are submitted inside the 90-day recording window indicated on the determination notice.

H-1B Cap

New Fee Structure and Form Version

USCIS released a final rule on January 31, 2024, which modifies the fees needed for the majority of immigration petitions and applications. As of April 1, 2024, the new fees are in place. If a petition is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, USCIS will not accept it unless the increased fees are included.
Furthermore, a new version of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, dated 04/01/24, will be available. Since the updated Form I-129 must follow the revised fee schedule, there won’t be a grace period for filing it.

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What You Should Know Before Sending USCIS Form I-129

If the form is postmarked before April 1, 2024, USCIS will accept it; if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, USCIS will not accept it; and if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, USCIS will only accept the 04/01/24 edition of this form. A preview of Form I-129 and associated instructions for the 04/01/24 edition has been released by USCIS. Regarding any regulatory or statutory filing deadlines, USCIS will utilize the receipt date; otherwise, it will use the postmark date of the file to decide whether form version and fees are accurate.

Recall that the USCIS recently published a final premium processing fee rule that raised the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filing fee to reflect inflation and went into effect on February 26, 2024. Form I-907 with the wrong filing fee will be rejected by USCIS and the filing fee will be returned if the Form I-907 is received postmarked on or after February 26, 2024. The postmark date for documents sent via commercial courier (such UPS, FedEx, and DHL) corresponds to the date seen on the courier receipt.

H-1B Cap
H-1B Cap
Online Submission and Accounts for Organizations

USCIS introduced new online organizational accounts on February 28, 2024, which facilitate collaboration and preparation of H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any related Form I-907 by numerous individuals within a corporation and their legal representatives.

Using Form I-129 and accompanying Form I-907, USCIS also started online filing for non-cap H-1B applications on March 25.Petitioners whose registrations have been chosen may start filing H-1B cap petitions and related Forms I-907 online with USCIS on April 1.

Petitioners will still be able to submit, if they so want, a paper copy of the Form I-129 H-1B petition and any supporting Form I-907. Nevertheless, users will not be able to connect their online accounts to paper-filed Forms I-129 and I-907 during the initial rollout of organizational accounts.

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