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FY 2025 H-1B Cap Registration Period Closes March 22

Employers and their immigration counsel have until Friday, March 22, at noon ET to submit registrations for the FY 2025 H-1B cap lottery. Employers should work with their immigration counsel to complete their review and approval of draft registrations as soon as possible. USCIS rolled out a new registration system this year and is expected to again receive a large number of registrations. Continuing technical issues are possible, so early completion and submission of registrations can help minimize problems.

The issue

The FY 2025 H-1B cap registration period will close on Friday, March 22, at 12:00pm ET.  Employers and their immigration counsel will have until this time to draft, review, e-sign, and submit their registrations to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What employers need to do during the final days of registration

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. Sponsoring employers must have an organizational account at, even if they will be represented by counsel during the registration process. There is still time to create an account or upgrade your account from last year, if you have not already done so. However, coordinate with your immigration attorney before taking any steps in the USCIS account system.
  • Finish identifying prospective H-1B beneficiaries as soon as possible. If your organization has not finished identifying your H-1B cap needs, it must do so as soon as possible so that registrations can be submitted by the March 22 deadline.
  • Ensure prospective H-1B beneficiaries are aware of the new registration rules related to passports and travel documents. Remind prospective H-1B beneficiaries that they must use the same passport or travel document for every FY 2025 registration that is filed on their behalf, or risk invalidation of all FY 2025 registrations filed for them. The passport or travel document that is used for the H-1B registration(s) should also 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 H-1B entry 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) must log into the USCIS system to review, approve, and e-sign the registration. This is also the time to determine whether any changes need to be made to the registration. The signatory should review registrations as soon as requested by the immigration attorney.
  • Prepare for possible technology issues. Due to the rollout of the new USCIS organizational account platform and the likely large number of users during the final days of registration, there could continue to be technical glitches affecting the registration system. Notify your immigration team and the USCIS help desk if your organization encounters problems. The risk of slowdowns or glitches increases as the registration deadline approaches. 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 at noon ET 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 U.S. advanced degree 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 for unique beneficiaries received from the initial lottery is insufficient to meet the FY 2025 quota.

USCIS plans to notify employers and immigration counsel of the lottery results by March 31. USCIS will notify each employer that filed a registration on a foreign national’s behalf that the foreign national was selected 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 their 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.

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