H-1B FY2024 Lottery Registration Update and What USCIS Can Do to Prevent Fraudulent Registrations

August 1, 2023

Lottery cage with numbered balls

We previously wrote about the increasing demand for the H-1B lottery registration and the controversy surrounding the H-1B electronic registration program which allows for multiple registrations per candidate. We noted that the Wall Street Journal raised the issue of collusion between technology companies to unfairly increase chances of selection for prospective candidates by having multiple registrations per candidate. Of concern was whether candidates had legitimate job offers from qualified H-1B employers . It is therefore no surprise that USCIS, which announced on July 31, 2023 that it had completed the second round of electronic registrations selections for the 2024 fiscal year, has recently addressed the issue of fraud in the H-1B lottery registration. USCIS has indicated that it has already undertaken extensive fraud investigations, denied and revoked petitions accordingly, and continues to make law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.

Measures USCIS Intends to Take to Measures to Combat Fraud in the Registration Process

USCIS reminds the public that at the time of H-1B lottery registration, every petitioner is required to attest, under penalty of perjury that the registration(s) reflect a legitimate job offer and that there is no collusion to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection for the beneficiaries. USCIS confirms it will take the following actions should it find that the attestation was not true and correct:

  • Deny the petition
  • Revoke the petition
  • Refer the individual or entity who submitted a false attestation to appropriate federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and further action, as appropriate.

To combat and report fraud, USCIS reminds the public to use USCIS’ online tip form to report suspected immigration benefit fraud and abuse to USCIS.

Because these are all measures (after the fact) which will not deter those who intend to defraud the system from actually submitting the registrations, below we recommend additional measures that USCIS could take to combat fraudulent registrations.

Accel Visa Attorneys Recommends USCIS Take Additional Steps to Combat Fraud

To avoid fraudulent registrations, rather than solely relying on affirmative attestations from petitioners, USCIS should also consider:

  • Updating the H-1B lottery online registration system to flag and monitor multiple registrations with unique identifiers (e.g., using passport numbers) made on behalf of the same beneficiary. In instances where second/subsequent registrations are detected, require the petitioner to upload the job offer letter.
  • Limit registrations to one registration per candidate to increase transparency, equity, and preserve integrity of the registration and selection process. To achieve this, USCIS should update the system’s automation so that second or subsequent registrations (same name, passport, date of birth) are automatically rejected.
  • Debar companies convicted of fraud from submitting any H-1B registrations for a specific period of time. Again, this would require updating the registration system to automatically detect and reject registrations by these prospective petitioners.

We note that USCIS already intends to increase the H-1B registration fee to $215 per registration for the FY2025 fiscal year. While it remains to be seen whether the increased fee will deter fraudulent registrations, we hope actual and proposed measures to deter fraud will bring the H-1B lottery program back into a positive light.

Find out how Accel Visa Attorneys can help your organization prepare for the next H-1B lottery and explore alternatives to the H-1B visa. Schedule a consultation with us!

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