High Demand, Low H-1B Visa Availability
Fiscal year 2023’s registrations topped the charts at 484,000 requests. This number is even higher than experts predicted, but it’s not exactly accurate.
Instead of that many individual registrations, some applicants attempted to cut corners and increase their odds of selection by filing multiple requests. This is a black-and-white “no-no” in USCIS rules, and the government is taking action.
Any individual or company that filed multiple registrations for FY2023 will be accused of committing fraud. They’ll receive a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), and the effects of this notice will begin.
Understanding “Fraud” Per USCIS
Now that the H-1B visa registration system is almost entirely online, it’s easier for USCIS to catch fraudsters that would have gotten away with their attempts in the past.
But what counts as a fraud when you file an H-1B registration? Technically, employers can file petitions for an employee who is also applying for another job with an unrelated employer. That doesn’t count as fraud, provided the companies and job offers are each legitimate.
So, as an example, a university professor can receive sponsorship from two different schools, and they each may file a petition for the professor. But if the same university submits multiple positions for the individual in different job vacancies that aren’t genuine to try to increase their chances of getting that person selected, that could constitute fraud.
Consequences of Duplicate Registration Fraud
If you’re caught filing multiple H-1B registrations, the consequences are dire and clearly stated on the H-1B registration info page. Filing more than one registration for the same applicant will immediately make all registrations void. USCIS will consider them as “not properly submitted,” and the petition will be denied or revoked.
Because the employer has to attest that they aren’t filing duplicate registrations to boost the odds of an H-1B lottery selection, they are accountable for any extra submission. This is viewed as signing under oath, and USCIS takes it seriously.
They divide the NOID into companies related by common ownership and registrations with unrelated companies.
Related By Common Ownership
Should USCIS find that multiple registrations for the same applicant are submitted when companies are related by common ownership, they’ll submit a Notice of Intent to Deny. They provide the information on their website explaining how they establish the link.
While evaluating USCIS records, if a petitioner makes a false attestation by working with other registrants, petitioners, agents, or entities to submit more than one registration, this is considered collusion. When that happens, all applications are denied, even if some are unrelated.
Unrelated Companies With Multiple Registrations
Similar to the related companies, USCIS follows links to determine if multiple registrations with unrelated companies are collusion. This could mean that the applicant uses the same attorney or identical letters.
In these situations, the registrants often use the same attorney or contracts and boilerplate support letters that are nearly identical. They have related financial transactions or other factors that connect, such as shared employees.
Again, when this happens, all the petitions for the registrant are denied.
Receiving a Notice of Intent Deny for Fraud/Misrepresentation is not quite the nail in the coffin of your H-1B visa. You receive one more opportunity to prove the registration was properly filed. Otherwise, you’ll forfeit all fees, and your petition won’t be counted. Worse, action will be taken for fraud or misrepresentation against the employer who filed.
Should you be found guilty of willful misrepresentation, it can result in the nonimmigrant getting barred from entering the US in the future.
In other words, it’s a big deal, but Visa2US can help you. Let us guide you as you complete your H-1B registration paperwork to prevent any accusations of fraud or misrepresentation. If you’ve received a Notice of Intent to Deny already, contact us immediately so we can help you prove your case was submitted correctly or guide you as to your next steps.
Our legal experts are available 24/7 to help you successfully obtain your H-1B visa. Contact Visa2US before you make another move in the registration process.