The H1B Visa Journey: A Comprehensive Guide for Fiscal Year 2025

The H1B Visa Journey: A Comprehensive Guide for Fiscal Year 2025

Beginning in March 2024, USCIS will again conduct a preregistration selection process for the H1B visa lottery.

Understanding H-1B Visas

H-1B work visas are the most common visas for foreign nationals in professional positions, requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree. USCIS caps new H-1Bs at 65,000 for Bachelor’s degree holders and an additional 20,000 for Master’s degree holders from US non-profit universities.

Some categories of H-1Bs are exempt from this cap, including transfers, extensions, and roles in certain organizations. Due to high demand, USCIS conducts a lottery to randomly select applications for processing.

Understanding H1B visa

The H-1B Process for FY2025

Employers must decide whom to sponsor by March 2024. During a specified window from March 06 to March 22, 2024, employers will file an H-1B lottery registration for each foreign national they wish to sponsor. USCIS will then conduct a random lottery based on these registrations.

H1B visa: Key Registration Details

The registration requests the employer’s name, address, FEIN, and contact information for the authorized signatory. It also requires the foreign national’s name, gender, date of birth, country of birth and citizenship, passport number, and whether they have at least a Master’s degree from a US institution.

Notably, job duties or work site location details are not required, and a Labor Condition Application does not need to be filed before registration.

Planning Ahead

Employers should start preparing their H-1B lottery lists now, given the impending March 2024 registration timeline. It’s crucial to ensure all necessary documentation is received, reviewed, and approved before filing for the lottery to avoid potential Request For Evidence (RFE) and subsequent denials.

H1B visa: Employers should start preparing their H-1B lottery lists now

Important Considerations for F-1 OPT Holders

For registrants on an F-1 visa using their OPT, their work authorization will be automatically extended through September 30th if their H-1B application was chosen and filed before their OPT expiration date.

To ensure this extension, it’s advisable to file the full H-1B application promptly upon lottery selection.

The H-1B visa process can be complex, but with careful planning and preparation, employers can navigate it successfully. Understanding the process and meeting all requirements is key to securing H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers.

Start preparing early to increase your chances of success in the H-1B lottery for Fiscal Year 2025.

If you require assistance with sponsoring workers for H1B visas, please reach out to us directly. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the information provided above.