More than 780,000 registered for the H-1B Lottery in FY 2024 against about 80,000 H-1B visas
(Only 350,000 applicants for H-1B visas submitted one entry into the lottery this year; the rest of 431,000 cases were part of the double to triple filing for the same person)
This past H-1B CAP lottery cycle, USCIS saw a significant increase in the number of registrations submitted compared to prior years. Apparently, several smaller technology companies were colluding to file or register double or triple cases for the same individuals with hopes of increasing their chances of obtaining H-1B visas for these individuals. USCIS has since passed these fraud allegations along to federal law enforcement agencies who are currently investigating these companies' actions and will make a determination on how to proceed.
The companies in question will have to prove that those individuals who won the visa lottery have a real job inside of their company. While it is not unlawful for multiple companies to submit the same foreign worker, it is unlawful for companies to submit a foreign worker who is not currently employed or who is employed with the premise of being laid off so that they can work for a different employer or contracting the employee out to other companies. Since this discovery, government officials provided a gleam of hope to those not selected in the lottery. It is believed that if enough of the fraudulent applicants who won the H-1B lottery are disqualified, there is a possibility that the government will run a second lottery to meet the 85,000-visa cap.
Consequences of double or triple filing of H-1B visas: Based on evidence from the FY 2023 and FY 2024 H-1B cap seasons, can result in a potential denial and revocation of their filed petitions accordingly, and is in the process of initiating law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.
Measures to Combat Fraud in the Registration Process
The large number of eligible registrations for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations - much larger than in previous years – has raised serious concerns that some may have tried to gain an unfair advantage by working together to submit multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary. This may have unfairly increased their chances of selection. We remain committed to deterring and preventing abuse of the registration process, and to ensuring only those who follow the law are eligible to file an H-1B cap petition. We remind the public that at the time each registration is submitted, each prospective petitioner is required to sign an attestation, under penalty of perjury, that: (a) All of the information contained in the registration submission is complete, true, and correct; (b) the registration(s) reflect a legitimate job offer; and (c) The registrant, or the organization on whose behalf the registration(s) is being submitted, has not worked with, or agreed to work with, another registrant, petitioner, agent, or other individual or entity to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection for the beneficiary or beneficiaries in this submission.
If USCIS finds that this attestation was not true and correct, USCIS will find the registration to not be properly submitted and the prospective petitioner would not be eligible to file a petition based on that registration. USCIS may deny a petition, or revoke a petition approval, based on a registration that contained a false attestation and was therefore not properly submitted. Furthermore, USCIS may also refer the individual or entity who submitted a false attestation to appropriate federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and further action, as appropriate. Based on evidence from the FY 2023 and FY 2024 H-1B cap seasons, USCIS has already undertaken extensive fraud investigations, denied and revoked petitions accordingly, and is in the process of initiating law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution. The H-1B program is an essential part of our nation's immigration system and our economy, and USCIS is committed to implementing the law and helping meet the ever-changing needs of the U.S. labor market. We are working on an upcoming H-1B modernization rule that will propose, among other improvements, bolstering the H-1B registration process to reduce the possibility of misuse and fraud in the H-1B registration system.
In future H-1B lotteries to come, the government has proposed raising the registration fee to $215. This fee change could be enacted as early as next year for the 2025 H-1B lottery. The government also intends to write additional regulations to help combat potential fraud.
H-4, L-2 and E dependents do not need to submit biometrics
USCIS has extended the temporary suspension of the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, or E nonimmigrant status.
H-2B Cap Reached for the early second half of FY 2023
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 16,500 H-2B visas made available for returning workers for the early second half of fiscal year (FY) 2023 with start dates from April 1, 2023 to May 14, 2023, under the FY 2023 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule.