Employers compete for 85,000 H-1B cap numbers that are available each federal fiscal year for foreign national professionals in specialty occupations. This includes 65,000 under the "Regular Cap" plus an additional 20,000 under the “Master’s Cap,” reserved for beneficiaries holding U.S. advanced degrees. The demand for H-1B cap numbers substantially exceeds the supply. For the FY2024 lottery, USCIS received 780,884 H-1B registrations, which was the highest number on record and more than a 60% increase from the prior year's record. Notably, 408,891 registrations were for beneficiaries who had registrations submitted on their behalf by multiple different employers. This raised concerns that some beneficiaries had an unfair advantage and triggered this year's changes with the goal of preventing fraud or manipulation of the registration system.
THE H-1B REGISTRATION FINAL RULE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- Creates a beneficiary-centric selection process for H-1B registrations. Each registered beneficiary is entered into the lottery selection process once even when multiple registrations are submitted on the beneficiary's behalf. One beneficiary equals one lottery entry, with the registration entry tied to the beneficiary's passport or valid travel document. This change should establish a level playing field for all beneficiaries and prevent an advantage for beneficiaries of multiple registrations. As a result, we anticipate the selection odds to be better this year as compared to the FY2024 lottery.
- Clarifies that the requested employment start date on certain cap-subject H-1B petitions can be after October 1 of the relevant fiscal year, as long as the requested start date is within six months of the filing date.
- Codifies USCIS's ability to deny or revoke H-1B petitions based on registrations with false attestations.
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