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Unveils Key Insights into 2025's H-1B Visa Policy Shifts - Meng Law Firm

On February 7th, we invited Lawyer Meng to share an expert analysis of the significant alterations to the H-1B visa policy for the fiscal year 2025. Marta Meng, certified by the State Bar of California in Immigration & Nationality Law, also serves as vice-chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Immigration Law Section. She delivered key insights into the expected shifts that will affect applicants and employers navigating the H-1B visa application process.

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Deciphering the Changes and Constants in H-1B Visa Policy

Adjustments on the Horizon:

  • Revolutionary shift towards a beneficiary-centric H-1B registration process, a move designed to ensure fairness by allowing each beneficiary a single selection opportunity per lottery.
  • A new mandate for applicants to present a valid passport or travel document was highlighted, underscoring the tightened prerequisites for application.
  • USCIS's pivot to digital, with the online filing of H-1B petitions and associated Form I-907 set to commence on February 28, 2024.
  • An overview of the updated fee structure revealed significant increases effective April 1, 2024, including a hike in the H1B base filing fee to $780, the imposition of a $600 asylum program fee per I-129 form, and the reduction of premium processing times to 15 business days alongside an increase in the premium processing fee to $2805 starting February 26, 2024.

Elements Remaining Unchanged:

  • Despite the flurry of updates, the webinar reassured attendees that the H1B registration fee for FY2025 would remain at $10, with a note of the impending increase to $215 the following year.

A Look at Registration Data and Selection Odds

Lawyer Meng delved into the registration statistics from FY2021 through FY2024, illustrating a significant uptick in applications that reflect the intensifying competition for H-1B visas. While the precise selection rate for the current year remains elusive, Meng estimated a selection likelihood of 20-30%, urging prospective applicants to strategize accordingly.

Preparation for H-1B Applications and Anticipated Regulations

In the webinar, Lawyer Meng detailed the preparation intricacies for H-1B applications, emphasizing the role of the company's scale and the streamlined process provided by online platforms. With an approval rate exceeding 80%, Meng addressed common pitfalls leading to application denial or requests for further evidence, such as insufficient qualifications or incorrect SOC codes.

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Upcoming Regulatory Expectations

By outlining expected regulatory changes, including potential benefits for certain degrees and the loosening of definitions for non-profit exemptions, Lawyer Meng also touched upon the implications for start-up companies and the new allowances for self-petitioning.

Legal Milestones and Future Directions

A discussion on the landmark settlement in the case of MadKudu Inc., et al. v. USCIS offered webinar attendees an understanding of the new guidelines for market research analysts' H-1B petitions. This segment underscored the dynamic nature of immigration law and the ongoing efforts to provide clarity and fairness in the H-1B visa process.

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