The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on Thursday said that a “final rule” aimed at reducing the potential for fraud has been added to its H-1B visa registration process for 2025.

Under the H-1B programme, companies in the United States can temporarily employ foreign workers in “specialty occupations” for up to six years. Registration is the first step in getting a work visa.

As per the new rule, registrations for H-1B visas will now be selected by unique beneficiary rather than by volume of registrations. This means that multiple registrations submitted for the same person will no longer offer an advantage to beneficiaries in a lottery selection.

To enable this, employers will need to provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary at the time of registration, along with the $10 fee. Earlier, travel documents were submitted later in the process.

For several years, Indians have been getting the largest share of the H-1B visas. In 2021, Indians got 74.1% of H-1B visas issued by the US.

As per a limit set by the United States Congress, the country can issue a maximum of 65,000 regular H-1B visas and an additional 20,000 visas each year for those who hold advanced degrees.

However, as registration for the visa exceeds the annual cap level and the number of available visas, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service conducts a lottery to identify which applicant is to be invited to the next stage of the process.

With the new “final rule” announced on Thursday, the lottery can weed out multiple registrations filed on behalf of a single person by an employer or employers.

“We’re always looking for ways to bolster integrity and curtail the potential for fraud while improving and streamlining our application processes,” said the US immigration service chief Ur M Jaddou. “The improvements in these areas should make H-1B selections more equitable for petitioners and beneficiaries and will allow for the H-1B process to be fully electronic from registration, if applicable, until final decision and transmission of approved petitions to the Department of State.”

The immigration department further stated that the H-1B final rule “codifies USCIS’ ability to deny or revoke H-1B petitions where the underlying registration contained a false attestation or was otherwise invalid”.

The initial registration period for the financial year 2024-’25 H-1B cap will open on March 6 and close on March 22.

On February 28, the US immigration department will launch the new organisational accounts that will allow multiple people within an organisation and their legal representatives to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations and petitions.