US: Changes In H-1B Application Process Cuts Registrations By Half?

The USCIS is expecting around 350,000 people to apply this FY 2025 for H-1b visas. The number is less than half of applications received by the USCIS last year.

USCIS received 758,994 applications last year, of which 408,891 applications were duplicates. The number of registrations was cut down by half due to the changes made by USCIS in the registration process to prevent fraud.

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

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

However, the new process is putting the employers in a fix, because the person they selected might want to work for another employer instead. Also, the fees for visa petitions are increasing effecting from April 1.

Employers hiring high-skilled foreign nationals will face a fee increase for various visa petitions this year. The H-1B visa petitions fee will rise by 70%, L-1 petitions will see a 201% increase, and individuals on o-1 petitions will see a 129% increase.