The USCIS has begun cracking down on employers who have submitted multiple H-1B CAP registrations for fiscal year 2023 in an attempt to give specific beneficiaries an unfair advantage over others in the H-1B lottery.
The H-1B visa is one of the most sought out immigration visas, and it is estimated that fiscal year 2024 will see over a half of a million registrations for this category alone. For fiscal year 2023, the registration numbers topped 484,000; a new all-time high in lottery registrations for H-1B compared to years prior.
Recently, as reported by the Law Office of Thomas V. Allen, the USCIS has been issuing Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) on H-1B petitions in which multiple registrations were submitted through multiple different companies. There are two instances in which these notices are being issued:
- Multiple registrations were submitted through related companies
- The same set of registrations were submitted through different, unrelated companies
The USCIS is alleging that these employers are committing fraud and misrepresentation, and that the companies that were engaging in these multiple registrations were found to be related in some way or colluding with one another.
The USCIS considers this unlawful, especially considering the fact that submitting multiple registrations to unfairly increase a beneficiary’s chances of selection is prohibited and clearly stated before submitting a registration in the electronic lottery portal.
Any time an employer submits a registration on a beneficiary’s behalf, they are attesting under penalty of perjury that the registration they are submitting represents a legitimate job offer and that they have not worked with any other company to submit a registration to unfairly increase the chances of a beneficiary being chosen.
When these types of duplicate registrations are detected, the H-1B petition will be denied and further action can be taken by the USCIS. This includes reporting the employer to federal or local law enforcement for criminal actions.
If an employer filed multiple H-1B registrations and receives a NOID, they do have a chance to argue their case and prove that their registrations were legitimate and filed correctly. If they cannot prove this, the H-1B petition will be denied, fees paid will be lost, and the employer may be reported.
Are Multiple H-1B Registrations Allowed?
The USCIS wants to ensure that each legitimate registration has the same chance as any other registration, and that there are no reasons why one beneficiary would have a better likelihood of being chosen from the lottery than any other. However, you technically can have multiple registrations on your behalf – they just need to be legitimate offers that aren’t considered spam or duplicate offers.
For example, if two major companies have offered you positions pertaining to your expertise, and they are completely legitimate offers, both companies can register on your behalf. It is only when the employer is conspiring with related or abiding companies and submitting multiple registrations or duplicates of the same batch of beneficiaries where fraud or misrepresentation is taking place.
Protect Yourself From H-1B Petition Fraud
If you are looking to be registered into the H-1B visa lottery for FY 2024, make sure you find a legitimate employer with a real offer to petition for you. Don’t fall for fake promises from companies that are just looking to find loopholes or cheat their way into getting you chosen. If you take the illegitimate way, USCIS is making it very clear that your H-1B visa petition will be denied.
You have plenty of time to start looking for a good employer in the US to sponsor your registration for the next H-1B CAP lottery. Registrations will likely start the first week of March 2023, so start your job search now and be sure to mention that you are looking to be petitioned for. Look for positions that match your skill sets, education, and expertise. Good luck!