FY 2025 H-1B Cap Lottery Selection Process Concluded by USCIS

The USCIS has reached the annual H-1B visa cap of 85,000 applicants during the initial registration phase for FY 2025. Although the precise number of applications received hasn’t been disclosed, employers have been notified regarding the selection of their candidates through both regular and advanced-degree lotteries. If you or your company handled the registrations internally, it’s imperative to log into your USCIS online organizational account promptly to confirm which candidates have been selected.

The window for filing H-1B cap petitions is set from April 1 to June 30, 2024. Should the initial petitions not satisfy the annual cap, the USCIS may initiate additional lottery selections.

Though most cap cases can be filed at any time within the 90-day filing window, some petitions may need to be filed within a specific time. For instance, if the beneficiary is an F-1 student working on optional practical training (OPT) who needs cap-gap protection, the petition must be filed before his or her OPT based employment authorization document (EAD) expires. However, if the beneficiary is yet to complete his degree, the petition can only be filed once the degree has been issued or once the beneficiary obtains documents from the educational institute confirming that the degree requirements have been satisfied.

Important Changes to the H-1B CAP Filings

This year, petitioners must attach a copy of the candidate’s passport or travel document that was used for the H-1B registration. Please note that these petitions are now to be filed with new forms and fees.

For applicants who were not selected in the initial lottery, they will remain registered for a potential secondary selection if the USCIS has not reached the cap by June 30, 2024. The decision to conduct further lotteries will hinge on the number of initial selections and subsequent unique petitions submitted to the USCIS.

Unlike previous years where there have been additional selections after June 30th, this year may differ due to the new “beneficiary-centric” selection approach. Therefore, it’s not clear if the patterns of multiple lottery selections from past years will apply.

Note for Employees

For employees, your sponsoring employer and our legal team will verify the outcome of the H-1B cap lottery via the USCIS system. Your employer will adhere to established communication protocols to notify you of the selection. Those selected will see their petitions filed by our team. If you were not chosen, alternative immigration strategies will be communicated to you by your employer and our team.

Action Points

Our team urges employers to coordinate closely with us to ensure that all critical supporting evidence, such as company documents, candidate’s educational records, passport copies, and other necessary paperwork, is collected efficiently if not already done.

Our team is vigilantly tracking developments in the H-1B cap process and will provide updates throughout the season.

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