USCIS Concludes H1B Visa Lottery for FY 2025, Notification Rollout Underway, Prepares for Fee Hikes

USCIS Concludes H1B Visa Lottery for FY 2025, Notification Rollout Underway, Prepares for Fee Hikes

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has finalized the lottery process to select beneficiaries for H1B visas, including the master’s cap for advanced degree holders. Notifications are currently being distributed following the closure of the initial H1B sign-up period for the fiscal year 2025 on March 25. USCIS announced on X (formerly Twitter): “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 before April 1.”

The decision to resort to a lottery system was prompted by a technical glitch on the USCIS website, which delayed the visa application deadline for the financial year 2025 from March 22nd to March 25th, 2024. USCIS assures potential petitioners that they will be contacted to confirm their eligibility to submit a petition subject to the H1B cap. While Indian tech professionals have historically dominated H1B cap-subject visas, accounting for over 70% of the 85,000 visas available, USCIS anticipates a decrease in applications this year due to intensified anti-fraud measures.

Additionally, USCIS announced significant fee increases for beneficiaries filing H1B petitions, with fees rising by 70% for H1B filings, 201% for L-1 petitions, and 129% for O-1 petitions. Starting April 1, USCIS will transition the H-1B Form I-129 filing location to a lockbox, requiring all paper-based petitions to be sent to USCIS lockbox facilities. Petitioners are reminded that there will be no grace period for submissions received at USCIS service centers on or after April 1, 2024.

To streamline processes, USCIS introduced “MyUSCIS,” an online organizational account allowing collaboration between multiple individuals and legal counsel for H-1B registrations, petitions, and related Form I-907 submissions. Petitioners are advised that fees for most immigration applications and petitions will change as of April 1, 2024.

Source: Hindustan Times