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USCIS announces updates to H-1B Lottery for 2025


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a new final rule to reinforce the integrity of the H-1B visa registration process. This rule aims to minimize fraud by ensuring that each candidate has an equal chance of being selected.

The new rule will:

  • Be more beneficiary-centric,
  • Formalize start date flexibility for individuals affected by the congressionally-mandated H-1B cap, and
  • Include increased integrity measures.

The USCIS has also confirmed the registration timeframe for the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap (opening on March 6, 2024, at noon Eastern, and running through noon Eastern on March 22, 2024) and introduced electronic filing of Forms I-129 and I-907 for H-1B petitioners.

An Explanation of the New Rule

The updated H-1B visa process, starting from the 2025 fiscal year, introduces a beneficiary-focused selection method. This change ensures each applicant is chosen based on their unique identification, specifically through their passport or travel document details, rather than the number of applications submitted by employers. This shift to individualized selection is intended to maintain fairness, with each candidate having an equal opportunity in the lottery system.

It will be mandatory for beneficiaries to provide either their valid passport or travel document information — the same documentation they plan to use for U.S. entry upon grant of the H-1B visa — during the registration period.

Importantly, each beneficiary's registration is tied to a single passport or travel document to prevent multiple entries.

Strengthening Fraud Prevention & Handling of Invalid Petitions

The latest provisions in the H-1B visa regulation also enhance the integrity of the entire process by formalizing USCIS' authority to reject or rescind H-1B petitions in cases where dishonesty or inaccuracy is detected in the initial registration.

To further uphold the veracity of the system, the final rule embeds checks and balances pertaining to the registration fees. If, at any point after submission, the registration fee payment is declined, challenged, or is otherwise found invalid, USCIS reserves the right to deny approval of the petition.

These measures are set to deter deceptive practices and ensure financial compliance, reinforcing a trustworthy and reliable visa-issuing framework.

New Fee Schedule Rule for FY 2025

USCIS has indicated that a new Fee Schedule final rule will be implemented after the FY 2025 H-1B cap registration period. However, during the registration period beginning March 2024, the registration fee will continue to be $10.

New Edition of Form I-129

As of April 1, 2024, the new version of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers, will be available. This form will incorporate the new H-1B Registration final rule and the new Fee Schedule final rule. You will be able to view the new forms on the USCIS website ( - look for the edition date 4/1/2024.

Please note: after 4/1/2024, only this new edition of Form I-129 will be accepted.

Seeking Professional Guidance on H-1B Updates

If you have any questions about these updates to the H-1B visa process, or if you're concerned about how they may affect your petition, don't hesitate to reach out to Verma Law Firm for informed guidance. Our team of immigration attorneys is proficient in all aspects of U.S. immigration law. We understand that each case is unique, and we are dedicated to helping you understand how this USCIS update applies to your individual circumstances.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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