What’s New in Immigration? SSN Updates for New N-400 Citizenship Applicants, and H-1B FY 2025 Season Updates


SSN Updates for New N-400 Applicants

If you have been thinking of applying for U.S. Citizenship, you may be pleased to learn that starting April 1st applicants will have the option of requesting an original or replacement Social Security number (SSN) or card and have the chance to update their immigration status with the Social Security Administration (SSA), without having to visit an SSA office in person.

This is all part of the new edition of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (edition date 04/01/24) which will allow these requests to be made when submitting the application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Previously, green card holders were required to visit an SSA office in person to notify them of their new U.S. Citizenship status and apply for a replacement SSN card reflecting their new immigration status.

Unfortunately, this new update only applies to applicants filing the new edition of the N-400 application (04/01/24) on or after April 1st.  Those who applied using the previous edition of the form (09/17/19) cannot take advantage of this option.

When will the new edition of the N-400 be available for use?

The new edition of the Form N-400 (04/01/24) will be available for online filing on April 1.

To file Form N-400 online, applicants must first create a USCIS online account, a convenient and secure method to submit forms, pay fees, and track the status of any pending USCIS immigration request throughout the adjudication process.

H-1B FY 2025 Cap Season Updates: What to Expect

You may be aware that the electronic registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap season closed at noon Eastern on March 25, 2024.

Within the next few days, USCIS will conduct a lottery to randomly select within the pool of properly submitted registrations to reach the FY 2025 H-1B annual numerical allocations, including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). USCIS will notify the public once the lottery has been completed.

How will I know if I was selected in the lottery?

Petitioners with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS online organizational accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details of when and where to file. If you submitted your electronic registration with the assistance of an attorney, you must contact your legal representative to determine whether you were selected in the second randomized lottery.

Please note that, a registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the following statuses for each registration:

  • Submitted:The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.
  • Selected:Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
  • Not Selected:Not selected – not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration.
  • Denied:Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
  • Invalidated-Failed Payment:A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, disputed, or otherwise invalid.

When will I know if I was selected in the lottery?

USCIS intends to notify selected registrants via their myUSCIS organizational accounts by March 31, 2024.

If I am selected in the second lottery, when can I submit my paper application by mail?

Only petitioners who were selected in the lottery will be able to file an online or paper application with USCIS on behalf of the alien worker. The filing period will be disclosed on your official selection notice accessible on your myUSCIS organizational account.

Petitioner’s will need to include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2025 H-1B cap-subject petition. Petitioners should ensure that they send their paper application to the correct service center within the filing period indicated on the registration selection notice.

As previously announced starting April 1, 2024, USCIS will begin accepting the online filing of H-1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected.

Petitioners will continue to have the option of filing a paper Form I-129 H-1B petition and any associated Form I-907 if they prefer. However, during the initial launch of organizational accounts, users will not be able to link paper-filed Forms I-129 and I-907 to their online accounts.

H-1B Filing Fee Increases

Please note that the H-1B petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $780 starting April 1, 2024, and employers will be subject to a new Asylum Program fee of $600 for large employers and $300 for small employers (25 or fewer full-time employees). Additionally, the I-907 Premium Processing fee has increased to $2,805 for H-1B petitions effective February 26th.

If I have been selected, does that mean I will receive an H-1B visa?

No. Registration selection only means that petitioners are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. It does not mean that the petition will be approved and there is no guarantee of approval.

Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still submit evidence and establish eligibility for petition approval based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements. The burden of proving eligibility always falls upon the petitioner who is filing the H-1B petition on behalf of the alien worker.

We wish you all the best of luck!

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