During this timeframe, individuals seeking petition and legal representation must register electronically for the selection process and pay the required registration fee for each beneficiary.

The H1B visa program provides a temporary US visa option for companies to hire highly skilled foreign professionals in fields experiencing shortages of qualified American workers.

The registration deadline for highly sought-after H-1B visas, which foreign guest workers apply for, is slated to end at noon Eastern Time on March 22, as per the report by PTI citing the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

As of March 18, the USCIS mandates that prospective petitioners and legal representatives utilize their online platform. They must electronically register for the selection process and pay the applicable registration fee for each beneficiary, as stated by the federal agency.

Users of online accounts will also enjoy collaborative registration and petitioning, thanks to improved organizational account features.

The release stated that Form I-129, utilized for non-immigrant worker petitions such as H-1B, along with Form I-907, for requesting premium processing service, are available on USCIS online accounts.

USCIS will begin accepting online submissions for H-1B cap petitions on April 1st. They stated that they will provide further notice regarding the availability of online filing for non-cap H-1B petitions.

Revisions to the H1B visa procedure

Changes to the H-1B visa program in the US are undergoing significant adjustments, with the USCIS stating that these modifications aim to bolster program integrity and minimize the risk of fraud in the registration process.

Starting April 1st, candidates will face a substantial increase in visa fees, now set at $110, marking a significant jump from the previous $10. This adjustment represents the first hike in visa fees since 2016. Additionally, registration fees for H-1B visas have surged from $10 to $215.

The 2025 H-1B cap introduces a lottery system based on individual beneficiaries rather than employers. This change aims to provide equal opportunities for each beneficiary and decrease the likelihood of fraud by eliminating multiple registrations for the same person.

In 2023, the United States initiated a pilot program aimed at renewing certain categories of work visas domestically. Recently, officials from the US State Department revealed plans for a limited launch of the H-1B domestic visa renewal pilot, which permits up to 20,000 participants to renew their visas. As part of this initiative, applicants must send their visas to the State Department via mail and are barred from traveling outside the US during the process. However, while H-1B employees can renew their visas without exiting the country, their spouses are not eligible for this provision.

“Beginning in the initial registration period for fiscal year 2025, USCIS will mandate registrants to furnish valid passport or travel document details for each beneficiary. The passport or travel document submitted should correspond to the one the beneficiary intends to utilize for entry into the United States if granted an H-1B visa while abroad,” announced USCIS.

According to Visaguide’s report, certain petitions falling under the congressionally mandated H-1B cap can now be submitted with employment start dates beyond October 1 of the corresponding fiscal year. This adjustment brings alignment with the current policy.

The last regulation also establishes the USCIS’s authority to reject or invalidate petitions if the initial registration included false statements or was otherwise ineligible.

Keep in touch with Visa Bud for the latest updates on visa changes and much more!