When You Have Filed Multiple H1-B Petitions for FY 2020

This year 101,913 H1-B petitions were received for a total annual quota of 65,000. With demand exceeding supply each successive year, employers scramble to find different ways to get in their share of foreign talent in. One among those is finding loop holes in the system to file multiple petitions for the same employee. According to a recent accord by USCIS, this is prohibited and can result in several punitive measures besides outright revocation of the same.

What to expect if you have filed multiple H1-B Petitions for the same Beneficiary?

  • USCIS enforces one H1-B petition per beneficiary who is subjected to the H1-B cap.
  • The employer filing the petition cannot file another petition for the same employee under a subsidiary or affiliate company associated with the parent company.
  • This applies even if they have different Federal Employer Identification Numbers since USCIS still categorizes them as related entities.
  • Should USCIS find multiple petitions, they will all be revoked collectively. None of the filing fees will be refunded either.
  • These petitions will come under scrutiny if they are all applied for the same job, or similar position for the same client.

What are your Options if your Employer has to File Multiple Petitions?

  • There are instances when employers file multiple cap-subject petitions for the same employee or beneficiary for legitimate business requirements. USCIS chooses to adjudicated these at their own discretion.
  • To be noted, the different petitions for the same employee should be for two distinct positions and have different job offer letters to stating the roles. This helps as support documents for a H1-B application.
  • USCIS recommends employers file an amended petition for concurrent employment. However, they can do that only after the petition is picked in lottery.
  • An important note: filing a petition incorrectly indicating an exemption from the H-1B numerical limit will not only result in revocation but also list the employer on USCIS’s radar for future fraud alerts.
  • Alternatively, the employer can file for a new petition for the other/different position. However, he should first be selected in the cap.
  • Even in these cases, USCIS chooses to use its discretion to define the distinction in jobs and on deciding if the petition falls under ‘multiple petitions’ as opposed to a new petition each time.
  • The end goal is to establish and promote equal opportunity for prospective petitioners seeking H-1B visas.