By: Ashima Chock
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a Final Rule to be published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2024 to improve the integrity of the H‑1B registration process and to prevent abuse. The rule includes language to create a beneficiary‑centric selection process for registrations by employers, clarify start date flexibility for some cap-subject petitions, and improve integrity measures.
The new beneficiary‑centric process will select registrations by each unique beneficiary regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. This change will replace the previous method of selecting petitioners based on each registration. The rule aims to prevent fraud by giving each unique beneficiary the same chance of selection, despite multiple registrations submitted on their behalf. Thus, USCIS hopes to discourage beneficiaries from submitting multiple registrations simply in hopes of increasing their chances at selection.
Changes to the Online Platform
On February 28, 2024, USCIS will introduce new organizational accounts in the USCIS online system. This change will allow multiple people within an organization and any associated legal representatives to collaborate on H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and associated Forms I-907.
Additionally, online filing options will now be available for Forms I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. Applicants can still file a paper Form I-129 and Form I-907 if they would like to; however, users will be unable to link paper Forms I-129 and I-907 to their online accounts.
Beginning in FY 2025, the new Final Rule will also impact:
– The document provided should be the same one the beneficiary intends to use to enter the United States if they are issued a visa. USCIS in its discretion may permit a change in identifying information in certain unique circumstances but as a practice identifying information must match the registration information.
– USCIS also clarified that they will deny or revoke petitions if the fee was declined, was not reconciled, disputed, or was otherwise deemed invalid after submission.
– The new Fee Schedule final rule will not go into effect until after the initial registration period for FY 2025. Therefore, the registration fee will be $10 until after the initial registration period ends.
Initial Registration Period
The initial registration period for the H-1B cap for FY 2025 will begin at 12pm Eastern Standard Time on March 6, 2024, and will end at 12pm Eastern Standard Time on March 22, 2024. To submit a registration, potential petitioners and their employer’s representatives must have an online USCIS account. Employers will be required to electronically submit registration with the fee for each beneficiary.
For assistance in filing a H-1B registration or petition, case specific questions, or additional information contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration attorneys.