USCIS recently confirmed the receipt of 780,884 registrations for FY 2024, marking an increase of about 62% from the previous year. This surge in registrations explains the low selection rates this year.
This same agency also announced that it has verified the presence of collusion among technology companies who aim to improve the probability of foreign nationals being selected for H-1B visas by submitting several registrations for the same candidates. This practice has significantly contributed to the high number of registrations recorded in FY2024.
USCIS has invested heavily in creating IT systems that can identify patterns and irregularities in the H-1B registration process, making it difficult for companies to engage in fraudulent activity without getting caught. Despite attempts by some companies to be creative in their approach, USCIS is equipped to identify new trends and stay ahead of any fraudulent activity.
USCIS is likely to take stringent action against the companies involved in fraudulent activity and prevent them from filing registrations in the future. We can expect the agency to make examples of these companies, but will it be enough to deter other companies in future from engaging in the same activities?
The H-1B electronic registration process introduced in FY 2021 was seen as a technological leap forward for USCIS, an agency that has traditionally lagged behind in modern technology. While the process simplified the submission of registrations for foreign nationals into the H-1B lottery, it also made it easier for companies to engage in fraudulent activities.
Some believe that USCIS will implement changes to deter future fraudulent activity and have suggested running the registrations based on individuals rather than employers. This would prevent multiple filings and would level the playing field. However, others question whether USCIS is really incentivized to prevent multiple filings given that they intend to increase the fee next year to $215 per registration and based on the upward trend will likely see in excess of 1 million registrations. Multiple registrations would produce revenue in the region of $215 million!
In any event companies that have submitted multiple registrations through different entities should carefully consider whether to proceed with filing petitions. Doing so may result in a fraud finding and a Notice of Intent to deny, making it essential for companies to take a cautious approach.
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