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US Unveils Updated Regulations For H-1B Visa

US Unveils Updated Regulations For H-1B Visa

In an effort to enhance the integrity of the H-1B registration process and mitigate fraud risks, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a final rule for the fiscal year 2025 (FY 2025) H-1B cap. The new rule adopts a beneficiary-centric selection process, prioritizing fairness and equal opportunities for all beneficiaries, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf.

Under the newly introduced rule, selections will be based on unique beneficiaries to minimize the potential for fraud, ensuring an 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.

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The final rule offers clarity on requirements for the requested employment start date on specific petitions under the H-1B cap, allowing filings with requested start dates after October 1 of the corresponding fiscal year. Additionally, the rule grants USCIS the authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the registration includes false attestations or is deemed otherwise invalid.

USCIS has also introduced a Fee Schedule final rule, 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 scheduled to commence on March 6, 2024, and will continue through March 22, 2024. Organizational accounts for collaboration on H-1B registrations, petitions, and related forms will be available starting February 28, 2024.

Online filing of Form I-129 and Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions will also begin 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.

USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou stated, “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.” These reforms aim to enhance the H-1B program by fostering transparency, efficiency, and resilience against fraudulent activities.