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H-1B Cap Update - USCIS Officially Launches New Organizational Account System

At a glance

  • Employers can now create new organizational accounts and upgrade existing accounts in USCIS’s revised online H-1B cap registration system.
  • H-1B cap registration opens at noon ET on March 6, 2024. Employers must have an account in order to register beneficiaries for the FY 2025 H-1B cap lottery.
  • In preparation for the registration period, foreign nationals must ensure that their passport or travel document will be valid at the time they are registered.

The issue

Today marks the official launch of USCIS’s new online organizational account system, which will be used for the upcoming H-1B cap registration season. Prospective H-1B employers will now be able to create new accounts and upgrade existing “registrant” accounts in USCIS’s revamped organizational account system. Today’s official launch of the new system follows a “soft launch” period, during which users were able to test out the system and get a head start on creating organizational accounts for employers and immigration counsel.

Employers must hold a new or upgraded account in order to register beneficiaries for the FY 2025 H-1B cap lottery before the registration period closes on March 22.

Because the new system is complex, your organization will need to work closely with its Fragomen team to plan in advance before accounts are created or upgraded. Advance planning will help to minimize the risk of delays and problems during the account set-up process and during the cap registration period.

Those upgrading existing USCIS accounts to the new system should be aware that in announcing the official launch, USCIS has confirmed that upgraded accounts are not fully migrating immediately – some information from prior years could be missing at first. The account could take anywhere from several hours to more than a day to fully update.

Cap registration begins March 6

USCIS will open the cap registration period on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at noon ET. Employers and their immigration counsel can begin to draft, review, sign, and submit cap registrations at that time. The USCIS system will not accept drafts or registrations before March 6. The registration period will close on Friday, March 22, at noon ET. All registrations for the FY 2025 cap must be submitted by this time. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Important new passport requirements for foreign nationals

Under the revised H-1B cap registration process, each foreign national must hold a valid passport or travel document, which will be used as the foreign national’s unique identifier and serve as the means for selection in the cap lottery. The passport or travel document used to register the foreign national must be valid and unexpired at the time of submission of the registration.

Each beneficiary must use the same passport or travel document for all registrations submitted on their behalf. Failure to do so can have severe consequences, including invalidation of all registrations filed for the foreign national, the denial or revocation of any H-1B petitions associated with those registrations, and loss of the cap number for which the foreign national was selected.

Each beneficiary must use the same passport or travel document for registration that they intend to use for their H-1B petition filing and to enter the United States in H-1B status, with some exceptions, including renewal of a passport, replacement of a lost or stolen passport, a legal name change due to marriage, or a change in gender identity.

If your organization has not yet set up an organizational account in the new USCIS system or if you are a prospective H-1B registration beneficiary with questions about the passport requirement, contact your designated Fragomen professional as soon as possible.

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