skip to Main Content

FY 2025 H-1B Cap Registration Begins March 6, with New System and Requirements

Employers and their immigration counsel may register foreign nationals for the FY 2025 H-1B cap starting at noon ET on March 6, 2024 through noon ET on March 22, 2024. All cap registrations must be drafted and submitted online during this period. The new beneficiary-centric H-1B cap registration system requires the submission of valid passport or travel document information for each registered foreign national. The foreign national must use the same valid passport or travel document for all registrations submitted on their behalf, or risk invalidation of all of their registrations. Before an H-1B cap registration can be submitted by immigration counsel, employers must promptly review, approve, and e-sign the registration. The introduction of the new USCIS organizational account platform may result in new technical issues; prompt preparation and submission of registrations is advised to minimize the risk of problems and delays.

The issue

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B cap registrations for employment in FY 2025 on Wednesday, March 6, at noon ET. Employers and their immigration counsel will have until Friday, March 22, at noon ET, to draft, review, e-sign and submit their registrations to the agency. 

What employers need to do during the registration period

If your organization will be working with immigration counsel to draft and submit H-1B cap registrations, the company must do the following:

  • Maintain an organizational account in the USCIS online system. New for this year, sponsoring employers must have an organizational account at, replacing the former “registrant” account. The new account platform is intended to provide employers and counsel with a more streamlined process for collaborating on registrations.
  • Identify prospective H-1B beneficiaries as soon as possible. If your organization has not yet provided your immigration counsel with a complete list of foreign nationals to be registered for the H-1B cap, it must do so as soon as possible so that registrations can be submitted by the March 22 deadline.
  • Ensure that each foreign national can provide valid passport or travel document information for their registration. Under the new beneficiary-centric registration system, foreign nationals are required to provide valid passport or travel document information for the registrations submitted on their behalf. There are several critical rules in connection with this requirement:
    • The passport or travel document must be valid at the time the H-1B cap registration is submitted to USCIS;
    • The foreign national must use the same valid passport or travel document for all FY 2025 registrations filed on their behalf, or risk invalidation of all FY 2025 registrations submitted for them; and
    • The passport or travel document that is used for the H-1B registration(s) should be the same as the one that would be later used to support the foreign national’s H-1B petition filing, H-1B visa application, and entry/reentry to the United States, if the foreign national is selected in the cap lottery (with exceptions for renewed or replacement passports, legal name changes, and similar circumstances).
  • Promptly review each registration drafted by immigration counsel. When your immigration attorney finishes drafting an H-1B cap registration for your organization, the company’s designated signatory (called an “Administrator” under the new account system) will be notified to log into the USCIS system to review, approve and e-sign the registration. This is the time to determine whether any changes need to be made to the company’s registrations. The registration period is brief, so the signatory should review registrations as soon as requested to do so by the immigration attorney. 
  • Prepare for possible technology issues. Due to the rollout of the new USCIS organizational account platform, slowdowns and technical glitches could occur during the registration period. Notify your immigration team and USCIS if your organization encounters any problems. The risk of potential glitches increases as the registration deadline approaches and log-ins and submissions increase. Prompt completion and submission of cap registrations can help to minimize last-minute problems.

What happens after the registration period closes

After the registration period closes on March 22, USCIS will run two cap lotteries to select the beneficiaries on whose behalf H-1B cap petitions can be filed. The first lottery will contain all registered H-1B beneficiaries. USCIS will use this lottery to select enough beneficiaries to meet the regular H-1B cap of 65,000. The second lottery will contain all registered master’s cap beneficiaries who were not selected in the first lottery. USCIS will use this lottery to select enough beneficiaries to meet the H-1B cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. Subsequent lotteries are possible if the number of H-1B petitions received for unique beneficiaries from the initial lotteries is insufficient to meet the FY 2025 quota.

USCIS plans to notify employers and immigration counsel of the lottery results by March 31. For winning beneficiaries, USCIS will notify each employer that filed a registration on their behalf of the foreign national’s selection in the lottery. Each employer will be permitted to file an H-1B petition on behalf of that foreign national. To learn the lottery results, your immigration attorney and your company’s authorized signatory will need to access his or her account and review the status of each beneficiary.

USCIS will begin to accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of lottery selectees on April 1, 2024.  The petition filing period will end no earlier than June 30, 2024. USCIS will specify the exact end date of the petition filing period in cap selection notices. All FY 2025 H-1B cap petitions for beneficiaries selected in the initial lottery must be submitted during the designated filing period. 

Starting April 1, H-1B cap petitions will be subject to increased filing fees and a longer premium processing timeframe – 15 business days instead of 15 calendar days. A premium processing filing fee increase is already in effect.

Back To Top