The application process for H-1B visas, which allow skilled foreign workers into the United States, is undergoing a significant change for the financial year 2025.

This year’s registration period opened on March 6 and closes on March 22.

The US government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 of one calendar year to September 30 of the following year.

With 3.20 lakh applications approved, Indians got 77% of the H-1B visas in 2022.

This year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects around 350,000 people to apply. That’s less than half of the number of people who applied last year, according to American Bazaar, a digital news portal.

This decrease is because the USCIS has changed its approach to the registration process to prevent fraud, according to the report.

Last year, out of almost 759,000 registrations, over 400,000 turned out to be duplicates.

Now, instead of selecting beneficiaries based on how many times their employer registers them, the USCIS will choose based on the individual.

This means that even if multiple employers register the same person, they will only be entered into the “lottery” once.

If a person is selected, all of their employers who registered for them can apply for an H-1B visa. This benefits individuals with multiple job offers, as they can choose the one that suits them best.

However, this new rule poses challenges for employers.


There’s a risk that a person they selected might decide to work for another employer instead. This uncertainty is especially tough for employers now because the fees for visa petitions are increasing, effective from April 1.

Under a final rule released on January 30, employers hiring high-skilled foreign nationals will face significant fee increases for various visa petitions this year. The USCIS filing fee for beneficiaries on H-1B petitions will rise by 70%, while those on L-1 petitions will see a 201% increase, and individuals on O-1 petitions will face a 129% increase, reported American Bazaar.

The cost of applying for certain visas in the United States is going up. For example, the fee for H-1B visas will go from $460 to $780, for L-1 visas from $460 to $1,385, and for O-1 visas from $460 to $1,055.

USCIS wants to make sure that people who register are genuinely interested in working for the employer who registers them. Also, applicants must have a valid passport or travel document.

Employers can now use the new organisational account ‘myUSCIS’ to register multiple entities under the same account.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Mar 6, 2024


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