The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today released a memo that warned potential H1-B petitioners to refrain from having multiple petitions for the same foreign worker. Doing so could end in denial of the petition or even complete disqualification of that individual for the H1-B lottery.
Acting as a curtain call before the highly anticipated H1-B visa filing season begins next week, USCIS is making one last attempt in clamping down on the many ways this work visa can be issued. Because of the limitation of the annual cap of 65,000 coupled with the fact that the work visa is issued through a lottery system, there is a mad rush to ensure a higher chance that the petition gets picked up in the lottery. Lately, one of the trends to do so has been to submit multiple petitions on behalf of the same petitioner albeit under different names. USCIS has announced that unless a legitimate business need has been established, this petition will be revoked even though the petitions arose from different institutions but for the same prospective employee. While the 2019 filing begins for all H1-B petitioners, this rule doesn’t apply to those who fall under the cap-exempt category of 20,000 visas reserved for applicants with a Master’s or higher academic qualifications from a US University.
Announcing the prohibition of multiple H1-B filings, USCIS agents will now comb through the database to verify the number of applications before considering your name in the lottery. This comes on the heels of other stricter announcements pertaining to more frequent site visits, additional Requests for Evidence (RFE) to justify your petition as well as requesting a lot more paperwork substantiating H1-B visa issuance for workers in third-party worksites.
If your employer is looking to file a non-immigrant H1-B visa for you, follow the step-by-step H1-B guide to understand the requirements for a smooth H1-B process.