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H-1B Visa Lottery Now Open: USCIS Announces Final Changes to H-1B Visa Lottery

By Casey January 31, 2024 (Updated March 19, 2024) 3 min. read
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March 6, 2024 Update: H-1B lottery now open! The initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap opened at 12PM Eastern Time on March 6, 2024, and will run through 12 PM Eastern Time on March 22, 2024. Learn how to apply here.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will increase fees for employer petitions and sponsorship of permanent residence in a final rule. The agency justifies the fee hikes due to significant cost increases since the last adjustment in December 2016. Congress doesn’t provide annual funding for benefits processing, but occasional supplemental funding is granted to USCIS.

The new fees become effective on April 1, 2024. The final rule maintains two contentious fees, potentially leading to legal challenges. Additionally, USCIS has introduced a final rule altering the H-1B visa registration selection process.

What Are H-1B Fees Changing To?

Visa Fee Increase

H-1B Registration Fee Hike

H-1B Lottery Process Change

Employer Fees Increase

H-1B, L-1, and O-1 Petition Fees

I-485 Application Fee

H-2A and H-2B Petition Fees

(Note: All fee changes are in comparison to the proposed fee rule from January 2023.)

H-1B Lottery Changes: Final Rules

The revised lottery system will now prioritize individual beneficiaries rather than the employers submitting the registrations. This change ensures that each beneficiary has an equal opportunity for selection and safeguards against fraudulent practices where employers submit multiple registrations for a single individual. These regulations are set to be effective for the H-1B cap in the fiscal year 2025.

H-1B Process to Be Fully Electronic

USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou told ANI that the new rule and online services will improve the H-1B program, making it fairer and more transparent. He mentioned, “These enhancements aim to create a more equitable process for both those filing petitions and the individuals benefiting from them, enabling the entire H-1B process to be conducted electronically from registration to the final decision.

Are You Interested in Applying for an H-1B Visa?

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