Reminder: Registration Opens Tomorrow for the FY25 H1-B Visa Lottery

Authored by Yusra Bokhari

Reminder: Registration Opens Tomorrow for the FY25 H1-B Visa Lottery

An important reminder for American employers:

The registration period for the H1-B visa lottery opens at noon Eastern tomorrow, March 6, 2024, and runs for two weeks, ending at noon Eastern on March 22, 2024.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced employer-friendly modernizations to the H-1B visa application process, which opens on March 6, 2024.

The H-1B visa is the most sought-after employment visa in the U.S. by both American employers and provisional foreign workers because it enables employers to recruit top talent in innovative fields such as technology, software, finance, and engineering.

Here are the top five things employers and businesses need to know about the H-1B Visa Program:

  1. To participate in the H-1B lottery for fiscal year 2025, the American employer must register the foreign employee on USCIS’s electronic portal during the annual registration period, opening at noon Eastern on March 6, 2024, and closing at noon Eastern on March 22, 2024.
  2. Recent changes to the H-1B lottery have made the process more accessible to American employers and employees. The American employer registers the prospective employee or foreign worker for a modest $10 fee. Those selected by USCIS then prepare and submit a completed application and pay the required filing fees, also completed online.
  3. The H-1B remains a true lottery as the electronic lottery system caps the annual number of H-1B visas at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 allotted for foreign nationals holding graduate degrees from American universities.
  4. There are three basic requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa: 1) having a valid job offer, for a position that requires specialized knowledge, from an American employer; 2) a bachelor’s degree and/or a combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the field; and 3) an affirmative showing by the US employer that there is a lack of qualified American applicants for the position.
  5. The three main benefits of the H-1B visa are: 1) it allows the visa holder’s immediate family to accompany the visa holder in the U.S.; 2) it is renewable; and 3) it permits job portability. Though technically a nonimmigrant work visa, it can be utilized to obtain legal permanent residence for skilled foreigners.

The H-1B is a tremendous resource for American companies and employers as it enables them to recruit and retain top talent in innovative fields. Please contact our immigration attorney Yusra Bokhari if you have questions about this topic or other specialty visas and to help your business navigate the H-1B process.

Read more about the H1-B visa process in Yusra Bokhari's article, "The Modernization of the H-1B: A Breakdown for Businesses on the Updated Visa Process," published by the Phoenix Business Journal.