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February 2024

H-1B Lottery Quickly Approaching

This year’s H-1B lottery is quickly approaching, and with it comes a host of changes. This year’s H-1B registration period will run from March 6, 2024, 12:00 PM EST, to March 22, 2024, 12:00 PM EST, and the registration fee will remain $10. The lottery selection process will occur shortly after that. Employers should identify prospective foreign talent now and plan to start the H-1B lottery preparation process no later than the beginning of March. Advanced planning will give employers and our office sufficient time to conduct any necessary analysis and timely submit registrations.

This year’s lottery will utilize a beneficiary-centric approach to try to make it fairer.  Each unique beneficiary who has a registration submitted will be entered into the selection process once regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf.  Beneficiaries are prohibited from being registered under more than one passport.

USCIS has also changed how its online accounts are to be used for the purposes of the H-1B lottery and subsequent steps.

USCIS Fee Increases

USCIS is raising filing fees for the first time since 2016. These filing fee increases will take effect in two stages.  On February 26, 2024 Premium Processing fees will increase. For example, a petition that currently requires a $2,500 fee to Premium Process will now require a $2,805 fee. A full list of the Premium Processing increases can be found here.  The premium processing timeframe has been adjusted from calendar days to business days.

The second set of fee increases will take effect on April 1, 2024. This involves an expansive reworking of the current fee schedule. One of the notable changes is that filing fees for Form I-129 petitions will vary in cost depending on the visa classification sought, the size of the company and whether it is for-profit or non-profit.  Here are some examples of the new fees:

  • I-129 H-1B (larger employers/for-profit) from $460 to $1,080;
  • I-129 H-1B (small employers and non-profits) from $460 to $540;
  • I-129 L (from $460 to $1,385); and
  • I-129 L (small employers and non-profits) from $460 to $695.


The full schedule can be found here (PDF).

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If you have questions regarding the H-1B lottery, USCIS fee increases, or any other immigration-related issues, please contact Karen Moss or Brad Ortman of the Immigration Law Group at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper via email or at (216) 621-7227.

Bradley L. Ortman and Karen Gabriel Moss
Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC


This Immigration Law Update contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.


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