US Announces New Rules for H-1B Visa

To enhance the integrity of the H-1B registration process and address fraud risks, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a final rule for the fiscal year 2025 (FY 2025) H-1B cap.

The newly introduced rule has adopted a beneficiary-centric selection process to promote fairness and equal opportunities for all beneficiaries, irrespective of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf.

Under the new rule, selections will be based on unique beneficiaries to minimize the potential for fraud and guaranteeing equal chance of selection for all registrations.

Starting from the FY 2025 initial registration period, USCIS will require registrants to provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary.

The final rule provides clarity on requirements for the requested employment start date on specific petitions under the H-1B cap, permitting filings with requested start dates after October 1 of the corresponding fiscal year.

The rule establishes USCIS’ authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the registration includes false attestations or is deemed otherwise invalid. USCIS has additionally introduced a Fee Schedule final rule, which will be effective after the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap.

The initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap is set to start on March 6, 2024, and will continue through March 22, 2024. USCIS will introduce organizational accounts on February 28, 2024, facilitating collaboration on H-1B registrations, petitions, and related forms.

Online filing of Form I-129 and Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions will also commence on the same date. While petitioners can still submit paper Form I-129 H-1B petitions, online filing options will be accessible starting April 1, 2024.

“The improvements in these areas should make H-1B selections more equitable for petitioners and beneficiaries and will allow for the H-1B process to be fully electronic from registration until final decision,” said the USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou.

These reforms are intended to improve the H-1B program by enhancing transparency, efficiency, and resilience against fraudulent activities.

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