H-1B Cap Season – Time to Start Preparing
The registration period for H-1B cap-subject petitions is approaching! As a reminder, the annual H-1B cap is set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 numbers available for individuals who have earned an advanced degree from an accredited U.S. educational institution. Once these caps have been reached, employers will be unable to file new cap-subject H-1B petitions until the registration period opens again in 2025.
The registration window typically opens the first full week in March and closes the at the end of the 3rd week in March. All beneficiaries must be registered during this period in order to be entered in the FY 2025 H-1B cap selection lotteries.
Once the registration period opens, MVA will input all registrant information into USCIS’s online system. MVA will then email each employer with detailed instructions on how to review/approve the registrations and electronically sign a G-28 form. In order to complete this essential step, each entity must have an active registration account in the USCIS system and the account holder must be available via email during the registration window. If your organization created a registration account last year, that account may be reused for the FY 2025 cap season so long as the account holder remains the same. If a new account holder needs to be created or your organization does not already have a registration account, please contact MVA for assistance with creating your account.
MVA typically begins receiving notification of selected registrations as early as March 31st. As in years past, the petition filing period should begin on April 1st and should end no earlier than June 30th.
Impact to Employers & Foreign Nationals
Employers seeking to sponsor H-1B Registrants must first register online. Employers should take the time now to identify any current or potential employees who may require first-time H-1B sponsorship. Such employees generally include the following:
- F-1 students currently working on OPT who require a change of status to H-1B;
- Workers outside the U.S. seeking H-1B status for the first time;
- Workers inside the U.S. on another work status that will max out (such as L-1 or J-1);
- Workers inside the U.S. on another work status such as TN, H-4, or O-2;or
- Workers currently in the U.S. in H-1B status working for a cap-exempt organization (non-profit or educational institution) who require a cap-subject H-1B to work for a private, for-profit organization/company.
The cap does not impact individuals currently in H-1B status seeking extensions of status, amendments of status, or changes such as a transfer to a new employer.
Please contact an MVA Immigration Team Member if you have any questions or want to discuss potential H-1B applicants.