Important H-1B Rule Changes
H-1B Random Selection Process
U.S. employers seeking to file H1B for a candidate that has never held H1B status (i.e., “H1B cap subject”) must still submit an electronic registration for each candidate. Also, more than one employer may still register for the same candidate. What is new, however, is that each candidate will have only one single entry in the lottery regardless of the number of companies that register the candidate. The new “beneficiary-centric” system ties the lottery registration to each candidate’s passport in order to ensure that each individual has just one entry in the lottery. The new system further prohibits candidates from being registered under more than one passport. These changes remove the incentive for candidates to register more than once. As such, this year’s number of lottery registrations will likely reduce significantly and each lottery registration will enjoy a higher chance of being selected.
Under the new process, if a candidate that was registered by multiple employers is selected, every employer that submitted a registration for that candidate will be notified of the selection and each employer will be eligible to file an H1B petition on behalf of the candidate. This new process will go into effect for the upcoming FY2025 H1B registration (registration period of 03/06/2024 through 03/22/2024).
USCIS Filing Fee Increase
Effective 4/01/2024, USCIS filing fees are increasing. The fee for an H-1B petition will increase from $460 to $780 (but remain at $460 for employers with 25 or fewer employees). The fee for an L-1 petition will increase from $460 to $695 for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and to $1,385 for employers with more than 25 employees.
The H-1B registration fee will increase from $10 to $215, but the higher rate will not be in effect for this year’s H-1B registration. The higher fee for H-1B petitions does take effect when cap-subject H1B filing begins on 04/01/2024.
The new rule also adds a $600 Asylum Program Fee to each I-129 (e.g., H1B, L1, etc.) and I-140 (employment based immigrant) petition. Employers with 25 or fewer employees will pay a reduced Asylum Program Fee of $300 while nonprofit petitioners will be exempt from this fee.
The newly published rules total more than 700 pages and we will continues to analyze and will provide updates as needed.
If you have questions regarding this recent update, please contact ILG.