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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has wrapped up the lottery process for selecting beneficiaries for H-1B visas, including the master’s cap for advanced degree holders for the fiscal year 2025 (FY 2025).

This announcement comes after the closure of the initial H-1B sign-up period on March 25.

According to the USCIS — the US agency that takes care of the visa process — random selections have been made, and notifications are currently being sent to myUSCIS accounts.

“Fiscal Year 2025 H-1B cap petitioners: random selections have been made and notifications are being sent to myUSCIS accounts beginning yesterday and continuing over the next few days prior to April 1,” the agency announced on X.

The USCIS has assured potential petitioners that they will be contacted to confirm their eligibility to submit a petition subject to the H-1B cap.

Companies file more H-1B applications than the annual limit of 85,000, and the USCIS uses a lottery to decide the beneficiaries.

In recent years, Indian tech professionals have dominated the H-1B cap-subject visas, securing about 70% of the 85,000 visas available, including the 20,000 master’s cap for advanced US degree holders, according to Forbes.

In 2022, Indians secured 77% of the 320,000 approved H-1B visas. This year, the USCIS anticipates around 350,000 applicants, a decrease attributed to new measures against fraud.

Interestingly, out of the 759,000 registrations submitted last year, more than 400,000 were duplicates.

The USCIS extended the registration deadline for H-1B visas for FY 2025 by three days, from March 22 to March 25, due to a technical glitch.

FEE INCREASE FOR FILING H-1B VISA PETITIONS

The USCIS also announced substantial fee increases for beneficiaries filing H-1B petitions — H-1B filing fees will rise by 70%, L-1 petition fees will increase by 201%, O-1 petition fees will see a 129% hike.

Starting April 1, USCIS will shift the H-1B Form I-129 filing location to a lockbox.

This means that all paper-based petitions, including cap, non-cap, or cap-exempt, must be sent to USCIS lockbox facilities and not to the USCIS service centres.

It’s important to note that there will be no grace period for H-1B petitions received at a USCIS service centre on or after April 1, 2024.

Petitioners must ensure that their filings are directed to the correct location to avoid rejection.

To streamline processes, the USCIS introduced ‘MyUSCIS’, an online organisational account facilitating collaboration between multiple individuals and their legal counsel for H-1B registrations, petitions, and related Form I-907 submissions.

The USCIS notified petitioners that the fee for most immigration applications and petitions will change as of April 1, 2024.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Mar 29, 2024



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