As most of you know H1B Visa is one of the most sought temporary work visas and there was a tremendous amount of demand for fiscal year(FY) 2023 with a whopping 484K H1B Registrations submitted. As with everything else in life, not everyone plays a fair game and there are few who try to take shortcuts. In the context of H1B Visa Registrations, some might have filed multiple H1B registrations with the intent to increase their chances in H1B Visa Lottery.
Now, USCIS is taking action on those individuals and companies, who committed fraud by filing multiple registrations to increase their chances in the H1B Lottery. They are issuing a Notice of Intent to Deny(NOID) for such petitions. This was first reported by Law Offices of Thomas V Allen. In this article, we will review what it means, look at the NOID copies issued by them and share what to expect. We will keep this article updated as more attorneys share similar information.
Before we go to the actual issue, let’s look at the actual rule and what is not allowed, what can USCIS do, if they find fraud.
Background: Are Multiple H1B Registrations Allowed? What is Considered Fraud?
As a baseline for everyone, filing multiple H1B Registrations through unrelated employers is technically allowed. The biggest catch is, these companies have to be genuine and the job offers have to be genuine as well. Usually, this is where IT Bodyshops try to take advantage of this rule and try to file multiple registrations without genuine intent or a genuine job offer.
For example, you have an offer from Google and another offer from Microsoft. Now both of these companies can file H1B registrations for you. This is considered legal and perfectly fine. But, let’s say two IT Body shop companies try to file for the same job by their subsidiaries or different companies, etc. without really having a genuine offer, then they are in trouble. The NOID is issued in such cases.
You can read complete details about H1B Duplicate Filings, what are the various scenarios, where we have illustrations explaining the same.
What can USCIS do, if they find Fraud with Duplicate Registrations?
As per USCIS’s H1B Registration info page, if multiple H1B registrations were filed for the same applicant to increase their chances of H1B lottery selection by a company or they worked with another company for the same, then they will consider that the registration was not properly submitted. As it was not considered as properly submitted they may deny, or revoke the H1B petition filed as it had false attestation.
They added this extra attestation during the submission process to hold the employers accountable. Essentially, when someone submits, they are signing under oath that they are not filing any duplicate registrations to unfairly increase the chances of H1B lottery selection for an applicant. See the below screenshot of the exact guidance from the USCIS website.
Now that we have some background, let’s dive into the details of the current NOID issued by USCIS
NOID for filing H1B Registrations with Related Companies
USCIS issued a Notice of Intent to Deny(NOID) for a petition, where they found out that the companies are related by common ownership such as family relationships, registrations done by the same agent, etc. They even gave details of the websites and how they were able to establish that common link.
As per the NOID, the person filed four H1B Registrations and two were selected in the H1B Lottery. This is a clear case for identifying fraud. The exact wording by USCIS in the NOID is as below:
“Based on the USCIS records, USCIS Concluded that the petitioner made a false attestation when registering beneficiary for the FY23 H1-1B Cap Lottery and made an improper registration based on USCIS collusion research. It appears the petitioner worked with another registrant, petitioner, agent, or other individual entity to submit multiple registrations to unfairly increase the chances of selection for the beneficiary. USCIS records indicate the beneficiary has a conformation number for four separate registration with two being selected
USCIS reviewed the petition, the registration data, and additional resources and determined that the petitioner has colluded with another company during the registration process to unfairly increase the chances of selection. The petitioner XXXX shares the same registered agents/ executives and/or has a familial link to the registered agents/executives with the following organization XXXX. USCIS found XXX and the petitioner are linked companies as indicated by open-source information XXXX, the website for XXX….”
Below is the actual copy of the NOID issued by them. This is shared by the Law Offices of Thomas V Allen. Thanks to them for sharing it!
USCIS has also issued NOID for situations where the applicants/ companies were trying to outsmart USCIS by colluding with other companies and filing H1B registration with unrelated companies.
In this case, they say that these companies used the same attorneys, used boilerplate support letters, contracts, related financial transactions, shared employees, etc with about 132 overlapping H1B registrations filed by them. Below is the exact wording.
“USCIS reviewed the petition, the registration data, and additional resources and has determined that the petitioner has colluded with another company during the registration process to unfairly increase chances of selection. The beneficiary, XXX was registered for the FY 2023 CAP by petitioner XXX. The petitioner, XXX, shares the same registered agents/ executives and/or has a familial link to the registered agents/executives within the organization. The companies were related through financial transactions, contracts, G-28 attorneys, boilerplate support letters, and shared employees. They also made 132 overlapping H-1B Registrations, including the registrations for the beneficiary. Based, on the aforementioned companies you have not provided enough evidence to demonstrate that you have a valid offer of employment.
Based on USCIS records, fraud/misrepresentation was found in XXX. The petitioner made a false attestation when registering the beneficiary for the Fy 23 H-1B Cap Lottery and made an improper registration. “
Below is the actual copy of the NOID issued by them. This is also shared by the Law Offices of Thomas V Allen.
What’s the Impact of the NOID: Fraud/ Misrepresentation
If someone filed multiple H1B registrations and got one of the above or similar NOID letters, they have one last chance to prove that the registrations were filed properly. If they cannot prove the same, their H1B petition is not counted and fees are lost and the employer will be taken action for fraud/ misrepresentation.
Willful misrepresentation is a big thing and someone can bebe barred from entering the US. It falls under INA 212(A)(6)(C)(I). You can read the full info at the State Department website. See the below screenshot. Also, federal agencies will look at these companies and review their actions. These are just early stages and we are yet to wait and see what USCIS will do for such employers.
Also, these are just the beginning of the NOIDs shared publicly by Thomas V Allen Lawfirm. We are yet to see others mention it. We will update this page as we have more info.
These investigations by USCIS will have a big impact on how many H1B registrations would be filed in the H1B FY 2024 season that will start next year in 2023
What do you think of the USCIS cracking down on multiple H1B registrations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below