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Prepare for Success this H-1B Season

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A Succesful H-1B Season Starts Now

The H-1B registration window for fiscal year 2025 (FY25) will soon open and proactive employers are already beginning to strategize and prepare for the opportunity to secure one of these highly sought-after nonimmigrant visas. With just 85,000 H-1B visas available—65,000 available to applicants with bachelor’s degrees and higher and another 20,000 open to those with at least a U.S. master’s degree—demand greatly outstrips supply. Consider that last year, USCIS received a record-breaking ≈781,000 applications.

Before the H-1B Process Begins

Employers interested in obtaining one of these valuable visas will want to ensure everything is ready—applicants have been identified, detailed job descriptions developed, and prevailing wage determined—in advance of the opening of H1B registration. Working with an experienced immigration attorney early in the H1-B process can lay the foundation for a successful petition.

H-1B Registration Process

USCIS hasn’t announced the timeline for FY25’s H-1B registration and lottery process, however, it’s expected to be similar to those of the past few years.

Registration Window

The registration window is expected to open in early March. During this period, employers must electronically register and pay a registration fee for every applicant they sponsor. The registration requires employees to submit basic information about their company as well as the worker seeking an H1-B visa.
Working with an immigration attorney, such as GoffWilson, can help ensure timely registrations and avoid errors. Waiting until the last minute to register puts you at risk of something silly like an internet problem or website crash shutting you out of the lottery while even small mistakes can cause delays or denials.

Lottery Process

If the number of H-1B petitions exceeds the allotted 85,000 H-1B visas—as it has in the past 10+ years—USCIS holds a lottery sometime in late March or early April. H-1B visa “winners” are chosen at random—the first 65,000 are selected from all H-1B applicants and the following 20,000 are chosen only from applicants with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

How Employers Can Prepare for H-1B Season

One of the best things an employer can do to prepare for the H-1B registration and lottery process is to work with a knowledgeable immigration attorney, who will evaluate an employee’s H-1B eligibility. If they qualify, the immigration attorney will prepare their registration and file it on the appropriate date.
If a registration is selected in the lottery, an immigration attorney will prepare and file a formal H-1B petition with, and respond to any further requests from, USCIS. In the end, an immigration attorney like GoffWilson can save employers a lot of time, energy, and headaches.

Who to Sponsor for an H-1B Visa?

Most H-1B registrations are for foreign workers who’ve never had H-1B status before. However, there are some situations where a potential H-1B applicant may be employed under another type of temporary work authorization or on an H-1B visa for an uncapped employer (like an institution of higher education or government research organization). For example:
  • Students engaged in Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must obtain an H-1B visa to remain eligible for employment in the U.S. after their OPT or CPT period expires.
  • Individuals currently holding H-1B status, and employed by a cap-exempt employer, who are now looking for job opportunities with a cap-subject employer.
  • Individuals currently in nonimmigrant work statuses like TN, H-3, H-2, O-1, and J-1, but who are required to transition their status to H-1B.

GoffWilson Immigration

GoffWilson strongly advises employers to begin the H-1B application process as soon as possible. We've prepared thousands of H-1B visa applications in our 30+ years of practice and can help employers develop an H-1B strategy—ensuring everything from identifying the right individuals for the H-1B visa to meeting critical deadlines.
GoffWilson exclusively practices immigration law and has guided a multitude of employers through the H-1B process over our decades of practice—from registration to filing a complete petition. Contact GoffWilson today to discover how we can help set you up for success this H-1B season.
Filed under:H-1B Visa, Immigration Law