Department of Homeland Security
ATTENTION: H-1B Cap Season Start for FY 2025
With the new H-1B Cap season quickly approaching, it is time to start evaluating your H-1B needs and preparing for the annual H-1B lottery. Each year, the demand for H-1B visas far exceeds the available supply and since 2020, the government has been using a computerized lottery selection process to fill the yearly quota for H-1Bs. This year’s registration period should begin in early March for a minimum period of 14 days during which time all H-1B registrations for the upcoming lottery must be submitted. After the registration period closes, the government will complete a random lottery selection and employers whose registrations have been selected must file H-1B petitions within the government-designated filing window (which generally begins on April 1 and remains open for approximately 3 months). If all available H-1B visa numbers are not used by those chosen in the original lottery, then USCIS will conduct additional lotteries at later points, as needed, until all available H-1B visa numbers are exhausted.
While USCIS has not yet announced specific registration and filing dates for the upcoming lottery, with registration account creation usually opening in mid-February, employers should consult immigration counsel as soon as possible to plan upcoming H-1B petition submissions and related timelines.
USCIS Premium Processing Fees to be Increased Starting February 26, 2024
To reflect U.S. inflation rates, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will increase USCIS’s premium processing fees for all eligible forms and categories beginning on February 26, 2024. The increases vary for different filing categories beginning on February 26, 2024 and will range from $1,685 to $2,805. All Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service applications received on or after February 26 with the incorrect filing fee amounts will be rejected unless postmarked prior to February 26.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Munsch Hardt Immigration Team recently assisted an internationally recognized expert in energy and environmental policy obtain an E-2 executive visa to advise on public policy and environmental sustainability for an international oil and gas exploration company.