Washington Update

USCIS Finalizes H-1B Visa Lottery Changes and Updates Immigration Fees

By: Nabila Riaz
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
On February 2, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule changing the H-1B registration selection process to enhance integrity. The new approach, deemed "beneficiary-centered," will select H-1B registrations based on unique beneficiaries rather than the number of registrations submitted by employers on their behalf.

Effective March 4, just in time for the FY 2025 H-1B cap season, this finalized rule aims to address the issue of multiple H-1B cap lottery registrations, reduce the potential for fraud in the H-1B registration process, and provide a fair advantage to all applicants. USCIS initially proposed changes to the H-1B selection process in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled "Modernizing H-1B Requirements, Providing Flexibility in the F-1 Program, and Program Improvements Affecting Other Nonimmigrant Workers," published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2023. However, the Department of Homeland Security is not finalizing other provisions of that NPRM at this time.

FASEB had previously submitted comments commending the proposed change to select H-1B registrations via unique beneficiaries, as it addresses concerns about multiple registrations, fraud prevention, and equitable treatment of all applicants.

In addition, USCIS recently published a final rule adjusting certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees for the first time since 2016. Under this final rule, USCIS has increased fees for employers submitting petitions for workers and sponsoring employees for permanent residence. The new fees take effect on April 1.