05 Mar 2024

United States

Initial FY 2025 H-1B Cap Registration Period Will Open on March 6, 2024, and Run Until March 22, 2024

As we reported in an earlier Blog, the registration period for the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap selection process will open at noon Eastern time on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. The registration period will close at noon Eastern time on Friday, March 22, 2024. During this registration period, employers/petitioners that wish to file H-1B petitions to employ individuals in H-1B status during the 2025 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2024, may file online registrations for these foreign national(s) through the company’s myUSCIS Organizational Account portal. After the registration period closes, the USCIS will hold two random selections (commonly referred to as “lotteries”) of all the registrations received and will select a certain number among those filed. The petitioners whose registrations were selected may then file H-1B petitions with the USCIS within a filing window of at least ninety (90) days. The USCIS will notify petitioners whose registrations were selected no later than March 31, 2024.


How Do I File an H-1B Cap Registration?

An employer that wishes to file an H-1B petition for a foreign national employee/beneficiary that is subject to the annual H-1B numerical limitation or cap must establish a myUSCIS Organizational Account and file an electronic registration as a “Registrant” through this portal for each person for whom it seeks to file an H-1B petition. Multiple registrations for different employees/beneficiaries may be filed from a single account. There is no mechanism for a paper registration filing. Only one registration per employee/beneficiary may be filed by a petitioner/employer. More information about the specific information that is required in a registration is provided in our earlier Blog on this subject.

A non-refundable $10 filing fee must be paid to USCIS with each registration.


How Will the Selection Process Change this Year? 

This year, the USCIS will introduce a new “beneficiary-centric” selection system for the H-1B cap registration process. Under this system, registrations will be selected by a unique beneficiary identifier, rather than by individual registration. The beneficiary identifier will be the beneficiary’s passport or travel document. Each beneficiary may only be registered under one unique passport or travel document, and if the beneficiary is not in the U.S., this document must be the one the beneficiary will use when entering the United States in H-1B status.

This new selection system is designed to reduce fraud and ensure that each potential employee/beneficiary has an equal chance of selection. Under this new system, each employee/beneficiary will be entered into the H-1B cap lottery selection process only once, without regard to how many registrations were submitted on his or her behalf by different potential employers. If a beneficiary is selected in the lottery, all entities filing registrations for the beneficiary will be invited to file an H-1B petition.


What Happens After the Registration Period Closes on March 22?

Once the registration period closes on March 22, the USCIS will calculate how many registrations it has received. If the agency determines that it has received more registrations than the statutory annual numerical limitations for H-1B visas, the agency will conduct a random selection process or lottery for all the registrations received. The selection process will consist of two steps. First, an initial lottery will be held to determine the allocation of the numbers available under the general H-1B cap (up to 65,000). Once this is concluded, a second lottery will be held to determine the allocation of the 20,000 numbers available to persons who hold advanced degrees from accredited and not for profit United States universities. Only registrations that indicate that the employee/beneficiary holds such a degree will be included in this second lottery. It is likely that USCIS will run the two lotteries over the weekend of March 23 and 24.


How Will I Know if My Registration Was Selected?

The USCIS will notify all petitioners/employers who filed registrations of the selection or non-selection of their registrations by sending an e-mail message indicating that their myUSCIS Organizational Account has been updated. If the account is updated to show “Selected”, the registration was selected and an H-1B petition may be filed.

Cases that are not selected will either show as “Submitted,” meaning that the registration remains pending and will be included in any subsequent lotteries that may be conducted this fiscal year. If the account is updated to show “Not Selected”, the registration was not selected and USCIS does not anticipate the possibility of any further lotteries in this fiscal year, so an H-1B petition may not be filed for the 2025 fiscal year. An account may also be updated to show “Denied” (typically because multiple registrations were received from the petitioner/employer for the same beneficiary/employee) and “Invalidated/Failed Payment” if the payment was declined or otherwise failed.


What Are My Chances of Success in the H-1B Cap Lotteries?

Given the introduction of the new beneficiary-centric selection system, it is unlikely that the huge volume of registration filings experienced last year will be repeated this year. The percentage of registrations selected annually in the H-1B cap lotteries over the past few years has been approximately 30%. The chances of being selected in the FY2025 registration will depend on the number of registrations that are submitted. If the beneficiary/employee has an advanced degree from an accredited and not for profit United States university, the likelihood of the selection of a registration will be significantly increased, since the beneficiary may be entered in two lotteries. The advanced degree held need not be relevant to the beneficiary’s/employee’s proposed H-1B position.


T&S Takeaway

Employers that have identified current or prospective employees who will need or benefit from H-1B status should familiarize themselves with the H-1B cap registration process and should be especially mindful of the time frames involved. Such employers should also pay careful attention to the drafting of the registration, since even a minor oversight or typographical error could cause the registration to be denied or could result in erroneous information being conveyed to the USCIS that could result in the denial of an H-1B petition if the registration is selected. The attorneys at Tafapolsky & Smith are thoroughly familiar with the intricacies of the H-1B cap registration process and are available to assist any employers that wish to participate in this process.


© 2022 Tafapolsky & Smith LLP. All rights reserved.
The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

Key Contacts

Robin Paulino


J. Anthony Smith


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