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Annual H-1B Lottery Registration Period Opens March 6




If you are an employer or employee who is interested in applying for the H-1B visa, now is the only time of the year in which USCIS accepts applications for new H-1B visas that are subject to the annual cap of 85,000 visas.


Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each prospective beneficiary. The lottery registration period runs from March 6 to March 22, 2024.

The electronic registration process streamlines processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange and provides overall cost savings to employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.


Under this process, prospective petitioners (also known as registrants), and their authorized representatives, who are seeking to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, complete a registration process that requires basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker. The initial registration period is for a minimum of 14 calendar days each fiscal year. The H-1B selection process is then run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.


On Feb. 28, 2024, USCIS launched new USCIS organizational accounts that will allow multiple people within a company and their legal representatives to collaborate and prepare H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and associated requests for premium processing. A new organizational account is required to participate in the H-1B Electronic Registration Process starting in March 2024.


NEW FILING FEES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2024


The filing fee for Form I-129 will stay at $460 until March 31, 2024. However, as of April 1, the filing fees will stay at $460 for small employers (25 or fewer employees), and non-profits. However, the fee will increase to $780 for employers with 26 or more employees. For an updated fee schedule, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-fees/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-uscis-fee-rule


On February 26, 2024, filing fees for Premium Processing (Form I-907) increased from $2,500 to $2,805. By including the Premium Processing Fee, the case will be reviewed within 15 days.


As employers cannot file petitions for H-1B visas until April 1, all applications for this year (Fiscal year 2025), will be subject to the new filing fee amounts.


WHAT IS THE H-1B VISA?


This nonimmigrant classification applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.


The occupation requires:

  • Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and

  • Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

The position must also meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the particular position

  • The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or, in the alternative, the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree

  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position

  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.*

For you to qualify to perform services in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university

  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university

  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.

  • Have education, specialized training, and/or progressively responsible experience that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.**

ARE YOU READY TO APPLY?



If you are interested in learning more about the H-1B visa, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.



This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.

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