FY25 H-1B Electronic Registration

Navigating the complexities of the H-1B visa process can be daunting, especially with the introduction of the electronic registration system in recent years. As we approach the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25), understanding the H-1B cap, the registration process, and the specific requirements becomes crucial for hopeful applicants and their employers. This guide answers frequently asked questions to demystify the process and prepare you for a successful application.

Understanding the H-1B Visa Cap

The H-1B visa cap is a yearly limit on the number of new first time H-1B visas available. For FY25, the H-1B cap is set at 65,000 for applicants with bachelor’s degrees or equivalent commonly referred to as the “regular cap”, with an additional 20,000 numbers for those with U.S. master’s degrees or higher, commonly referred to as the “master’s cap.”

The Electronic Registration System Explained

The H-1B electronic registration system is a preliminary step in the visa application process. Employers must register potential employees, providing basic information about the company and the candidate. This system streamlines the selection process, allowing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to randomly select registrants to proceed with the full visa application. For FY2025 the registration fee will be $10, and the registration period will start on March 6, 2024 (noon EST) and on March 22, 2024 (noon EST).

Following the closure of the initial registration period, if the number of registrations exceeds the quota for both the regular and master’s cap, USCIS will carry out a lottery for all submitted registrations. A subsequent lottery will then be conducted for the remaining entries eligible for the master’s cap.

By March’s end, USCIS will inform the employer/petitioner of each chosen registration, allowing them to file an H-1B petition for the employee/beneficiary named in the registration. This notification will include a 90-day period during which the petition must be submitted. For registrations selected during this process,

Registration Requirements: What You Need to Know

During registration, employers must include details such as the (1) applicant’s name, (2) birth date, (3) country of citizenship, (4) passport number, (5) educational background, etc. Additionally, information about the sponsoring company is required, including the federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and the authorized signatory’s contact information.

Master’s Cap Eligibility: A Closer Look

To qualify under the master’s cap, applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. institution. Additionally, the university must be a public or private nonprofit institution. This provision aims to prioritize advanced degree holders, enhancing their chances of selection in the H-1B lottery.

Applying Under the Master’s Cap Without a Diploma

Prospective applicants nearing the completion of their advanced degrees may wonder if they can apply under the master’s cap before officially earning their diplomas. While specific guidance can vary, USCIS generally requires proof of degree completion at the time of the H-1B petition filing, not the registration stage.

Registration Submission: Employer Requirement

H-1B visa registration must be completed by the prospective employer, not the applicant. This requirement underscores the employment-based nature of the H-1B visa, ensuring that only genuine employment offers proceed to the application stage.

Multiple H-1B Registrations: Strategies and Limitations

Applicants can be registered by more than one unrelated or unaffiliated company, however registering for more than one employer will no longer improve beneficiary’s odds of selection in the lottery.

Sponsoring Your Own H-1B Visa: Understanding the Rules

While finding a U.S. company willing to sponsor your – visa is crucial, covering the legal and filing costs yourself, especially through mandatory attorney representation, raises ethical and legal questions. USCIS regulations require employers to bear certain costs associated with the H-1B filing, ensuring that the program is not exploited.

The Cap-Gap Extension: Bridging the OPT to H1B Transition

For F-1 students on Optional Practical Training (OPT), the cap-gap extension allows for the continuation of work authorization between the OPT expiration and the start of H-1B status on October 1st, provided their H-1B registration is selected, and the petition is filed.


The H-1B visa process for FY25, with its cap and electronic registration system, is designed to streamline applications and prioritize candidates effectively. By understanding these requirements and strategically planning your application, you can navigate this process more confidently. Always consider consulting with an immigration attorney to ensure compliance and maximize your chances of success.