Common H1B Cap Filing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It’s no secret that this year’s cap filing numbers were substantially higher than predicted or that many registrations are being inspected for potential fraud. Whether the fraudulent claims are based on legitimate abuse or simply careless mistakes remains to be seen, but the fact is that you want your H-1B registration to stand up to scrutiny. To ensure your petition is adjudicated successfully, avoid these common filing mistakes in the future.

Incorrect Job Descriptions

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the job description you provide to determine whether or not the position meets “specialty occupation” requirements. This is the main criterion that the H-1B visa is based upon, and how you write about the job you’re performing or hiring someone to perform makes a massive difference.

Specialty occupations include roles that require the beneficiary to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, or the foreign equivalent, in a field of study. But you’ll need more than a job title and degree to pass USCIS scrutiny. The officer reviewing your application reviews the duties of the job position, the nature of the company with the job vacancy, and the qualifications of the applicant to complete the job.

A thorough job description includes all of the following information:

●     A detailed summary of the position, including all duties and responsibilities of the job applicant.

●     An explanation of how the duties refer to the specialty occupation and the requirement of an advanced degree.

●     Clear reasons why someone with the extensive education and experience of a specialty worker must perform the job duty.

If you’re missing any of those details in your description, it’s likely to get rejected at USCIS.

Employer Identification Number Issues

If the employer has never applied for an H-1B visa before, there’s a chance that the Department of Labor’s system, FLAG, won’t recognize the federal identification number or tax ID number and will reject the Labor Condition Application as invalid. If that happens, the DOL officials will stop the request and do a pre-verification of the business. This can take a few days before it’s completed.

Waiting until the last minute doesn’t account for errors like FEIN mismatches, and the delays could be costly, preventing you from submitting your H-1B registration before the window closes.

Insufficient Vetting of the H-1B Foreign National

Employers sponsoring foreign nationals for an H-1B visa invest a hefty amount of time and money into the petition and application. You shouldn’t wait until USCIS has performed a background check on this individual before you realize there’s a red flag that could prevent their visa from going through.

One thing to watch out for is if the person has previously had an H-1B status through a cap-exempt employer. These individuals are transferring to a cap-subject employer and need a new H-1B registration. Don’t count on them using their current H-1B visa to work for you.

Other red flags include criminal histories and missing and unaccounted-for gaps in education or job experience.

Incorrect Information on the Forms

With so many boxes to complete throughout the H-1B process, it’s easy to make minor mistakes. But these little errors can be terminal to your application.

Using an immigration expert like Visa2US can ensure you don’t skip something vital. Dates, wages, wrong forms, and incorrect fees submitted are all fast ways to invalidate your petition.

Submitting to the Wrong Service Center

You can complete everything correctly but submit your petition to the wrong service center and end up with timely (and costly) delays. USCIS has multiple service centers and an online location now. Be sure to verify which location your information should be sent to before you mail your paperwork off. 

Note that any petitions sent to the incorrect service center will likely be rejected. These will get returned to you, but the delay can take weeks. That long delay, coupled with the mailing time to resubmit to the correct center, can put you past the deadline.

What’s Next?

FY 2024’s H-1B visa fraud investigation is sure to have lasting consequences for future petitioners. This visa category was already highly competitive. Now, it will be a race to see who can file timely and correctly while still adhering to the stricter rules that will likely be established.

Visa2US can handle all of these obstacles for you. We’ve served countless foreign nationals and US sponsors, and our experienced legal experts are ready to handle your case, too. Contact us today to optimize your paperwork early and ensure you have the maximum chance of success when you file your H-1B petition.


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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.