Suppose you are one of the few employers whose registration got picked up during the H1-B cap lottery 2024. In that case, you must remember that you have a period of 90 days till June 31st, during which you must file all the H1-B petitions against selected beneficiaries.
Here are a few helpful tips that one needs to keep in mind while filing an H1-B petition for the current season:
Tip no. 1: Registration selection notice:
One must remember that submitting the registration selection notice with the petition is paramount. Once USCIS picks up your registration during the lottery, it will send a registration selection notice as confirmation with a number called the beneficiary confirmation number. While filing the petition, there are three things that one needs to remember:
- One must input the Beneficiary confirmation in their I-129 petition in the H supplement under question 5.
- One must review all the information in the registration selection notice and make sure the information matches with the one you are providing with the H1-B petition. If any difference is due to mistakes made during registration or a new update, one must notify the same USCIS on a separate cover letter with proof to support the change.
- Remember to send the petition to the address USCIS mentioned in the registration selection notice.USCIS provides this address so the work can be divided among different service centers and is done without delay.
Tip no. 2: Inclusion of proper forms:
If you don’t include the correct forms with your H1-B petition, there is a high chance of rejection. One must do this firsthand because, sometimes, USCIS notification regarding a form-related error comes after completing the 90 days, and one has no opportunity to fix it. Another essential thing to remember is that you use the latest version of different forms (the newest version is 11-Nov-2022).
The different forms that one needs to include in their H1-B petition are :
- Form I-129 petition.
- H classification supplement petition.
- H-1B data collection form
- Filing fee exemption, if that applies to you.
Tip no. 3: Filing fee:
While filing an H1-B petition during the H1-B cap season 2024, one must ensure the filing fee checks are correctly dated, signed, and with the correct amount. There are several types of fees that one needs to pay for filing, and USCIS wants separate checks for each type of fee. One has to make sure the checks are valid for at least a period of the next six months.
The various types of filing fees are:
- $460 as the basic fee.
- The fraud fee of $500.
- The fraud detection fee is $750 or $1500, depending on the employer’s size. The cost is $750 if the number of employees is under 25 and otherwise.
Tip no. 4: Confirm the correct filing location:
One has to ensure they send the petition to the USCIS service center mentioned in the registration selection notice. Remember that you will also have two address options in the notice to ship your petition, depending on the mode of sending. If you use USPS, you will have a PO box address. On the other hand, if you use the service of a courier provider like FedEx, the address will always be different.
Tip no. 5: The petition should be duly signed:
With all the forms which should be your H-1B petition, different places on them require valid signatures with dates. Suppose the I-129 petition will require one signature; the H supplement needs you to sign at two other sites and similar for other forms which are part of one’s H-1B cap petition. You must mark all places with signatures and dates to ensure the non-rejection of the petition by USCIS.
Tip no. 6: Correct start date on Form I-129:
Remember to list the start date on Form I-129 for the H-1B cap petition 2024 as October 1st, 2023, or later. The rule is that one can’t file a petition six months in advance. The start date will only be in case the USCIS does another lottery in July 2023 or after that.
Tip no. 7: Ensure to check mark or complete all the boxes
Any unchecked or unanswered sections could result in the rejection of the petition by the USCIS. If the answer is “N/A,” indicate that in the appropriate section.
Tip no. 8: Check the LCA job details:
Double-check that the certified LCA corresponds to and supports the H-1B petition. For example, the job title and worksite location listed in the certified LCA must match the information on Form I-129, and the wage rate listed on Form I-129 must be proper. The LCA must be certified at the time of filing the H-1B petition, and one should put the correct LCA number on the Form I-129
Tip no. 9: Submission of evidence of beneficiary’s educational qualification:
The petitioner must submit proof to support the beneficiary’s educational qualification. It is an important tip to remember because it helps the underlying crux of the H-1B visa. It is only for specialty occupations, and the beneficiary requires a specialized qualification, whether a bachelor’s or master’s degree, to execute the work defined under the job description.
Another critical thing to remember is that if the degrees are in a language other than English, one must submit a translated copy of the same done by a certified translator, which must be certified by a Notary public.
Tip no. 10: File dependent petition with I-129 petition:
If the beneficiary has a dependent, we must file the dependent petition simultaneously with the spouse’s I-129 petition. If the H-1B is a case of “change of status,” non-filing of the dependent petition can lead to the dependent losing their status.
Things that an employer needs to keep in mind while filing the dependent petition are:
- It is essential to ask the beneficiary about their dependent because there are chances that they will miss out.
- If the petitioner needs to file a dependent petition, where the dependent is a spouse, they must submit a separate check with the I-539 application.
- If the dependent also includes children, then there is only one fee and not separate for each person. The petitioner must file I-539 for the primary dependent or the spouse and I-539A for the children.
Every petition must remember the last date for filing the H-1B petition against all the beneficiaries who got lucky in the H-1B lottery in 2024. Following the above tips can ensure that low probability of rejection and reduce the chance of getting an RFE from USCIS.
If you need support for the H-1B petition for the H-1B cap season, you can reach us at Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy