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The systemic abuse of the H-1B lottery

Immigration lawyers and other advocates have been pushing back against the system’s exploitation. In 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began reevaluating the process, proposing changes that may help remedy these abuses. These changes include increasing the application cost, implementing more oversight into the process and investigating companies that engage in H-1B fraud.

“Most importantly, perhaps, is that registrations must now be in the name of the foreign national, and USCIS will not recognize multiple registrations for the same person from multiple companies,” Kuck says. “This was bafflingly not the government’s prior policy or practice.” Since each person will only have one chance of getting selected in the lottery, it will result in a fairer, more balanced lottery overall.

However, there are some casualties to these new changes. Since USCIS is flagging individuals suspected of immigration fraud due to submitting multiple applications, individuals put forth without their knowledge may be exempt from the H-1B lottery altogether. 

“There is already some significant litigation on this front moving forward,” Kuck says. “If any immigrant or companies sponsoring immigrants run into this issue, they should be advised to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to resolve it.”

For companies worried about the perception of fraud or adhering to the rules, Kuck recommends following the guidelines carefully. 

First and foremost, only apply to the lottery for those individuals who are a good fit for an available job opening. 

Don’t get tripped up by bureaucratic snafus. Triple-check to ensure you’ve supplied the correct information to the lottery application, as incorrect information can further delay the process.

Allow ample time for the H-1B lottery application once the individual you entered is selected to prevent losing out on a critical worker. Filing early after selection from the H-1B lottery is the best practice. 

Read More: Utahbusiness

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