The registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B cap petitions opened at noon ET March 6, 2024, and will continue to run through noon ET March 22, 2024. Employers seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition must electronically register during this period using a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) online account. The registration process includes basic information about the prospective petitioner and each beneficiary along with a $10 registration fee for each beneficiary. The registration process for FY 2025 is governed by the final rule published Feb. 2, 2024, which took effect March 4, 2024.

The final rule includes a new beneficiary-centric selection process to ensure all beneficiaries have an equal chance of selection. Under the new process, registrations will be selected by unique beneficiary rather than by registration. As part of the registration process this year, each beneficiary must provide a valid passport that matches the registration details. See our February 2024 blog post for additional information on the new passport expiration requirements.

As with prior years, it is expected that USCIS will receive enough registrations during the registration period to meet the 65,000 H-1B cap, with an additional 20,000 visas available for those who possess a U.S. master’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. institution. If the cap is reached, USCIS will conduct a random lottery of the registrations it receives following the close of the registration period. Petitioners will receive an electronic notification if their registration has been selected and can move forward with filing the H-1B petition for only those beneficiaries named on the selection notice. 

H-1B cap-subject petitions for those registrations that are selected in the initial drawing can be filed between April 1, 2024, and June 30, 2024. USCIS clarifies in the final rule that requesting an H-1B cap employment start date after Oct. 1 of the relevant fiscal year is permissible. Petitioners that have received H-1B selections will be able to use their USCIS organizational account to electronically file any H-1B petitions that were selected in the process, or they can file a traditional paper filing of the H-1B petition that is sent to USCIS by mail or courier.