USCIS Announces 26% H-1B Selection Rate for FY25 Cap Season

USCIS announces FY25 H-1B cap season results, with a 26% selection rate and 120,603 registrations selected from 470,342 eligible registrations. The new beneficiary-centric selection process contributed to a 38.6% decline in eligible registrations compared to previous years.

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USCIS Announces 26% H-1B Selection Rate for FY25 Cap Season

USCIS Announces 26% H-1B Selection Rate for FY25 Cap Season

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the results of the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap season, revealing a 26% selection rate. Out of 470,342 eligible registrations received, 120,603 registrations were selected for further processing.

Why this matters: This significant decrease in eligible registrations and the new beneficiary-centric selection process may have far-reaching implications for the US workforce and economy, potentially affecting the availability of skilled labor in various industries. The changes may also impact the strategies of employers and the opportunities available to foreign workers seeking to work in the US.

This year's cap season marks a significant decrease in eligible registrations, with a 38.6% decline compared to previous years. USCIS attributes this reduction to the newly implemented beneficiary-centric selection process, which aims to prioritize registrations with the highest wages and skills.

The H-1B visa program is a popular option for highly skilled and experienced professionals, including teachers and professors. To qualify for an H-1B visa, applicants must meet specific conditions, such as holding a bachelor's degree or higher in a specialty occupation and having an employer-employee relationship with the petitioning U.S. employer.

Some employers, such as universities, colleges, and nonprofit research organizations, are exempt from the H-1B cap and can file cap-exempt petitions. School districts may also qualify as nonprofit entities, allowing them to file cap-exempt petitions for their teachers.

H-1B transfer petitions, which allow individuals already holding H-1B status to change employers, can be complex and require specific requirements to be met. The period of stay on an H-1B visa for teachers is up to six years, with an initial period of three years that can be extended for an additional three years.

Employers are responsible for paying certain H-1B visa filing fees, including the legal fee, basic filing fee, and Fraud Prevention fee. The basic filing fee is always applicable whenever an I-129 petition is filed, while the Fraud Prevention fee is a one-time fee paid per employer per beneficiary.

Employers can opt for the Premium Processing service, which shortens the usual processing time from six or seven months to 15 business days, by paying an additional fee of $1,410. However, it is important to note that the Premium Processing service does not guarantee approval of the H-1B visa application within the 15-day timeframe; rather, it ensures a response from USCIS within that period. Moreover, the Premium Processing service may increase the likelihood of a Request for Evidence (RFE) for the H-1B filing, potentially extending the overall processing time for the case.

The FY25 H-1B cap season results, with a 26% selection rate and a significant decrease in eligible registrations, reflect the impact of the new beneficiary-centric selection process. As employers and prospective H-1B beneficiaries navigate this evolving landscape, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest developments and requirements to ensure a successful application process.