The FY 2024 filing season ends on June 30th, 2023, and as we conclude this year’s H-1B cap season, USCIS is starting to ramp up a new investigation and enforcement season in its place.
This year’s lottery was strange in a lot of ways. The total number of registrations jumped from approximately 480,000 to 780,000. This increase was almost entirely due to a dramatic increase in the number of folks with multiple registrations through multiple companies. USCIS has finally taken notice of this practice, and has announced investigations into last year and this year’s filings.
As a result, we’ve started to see individuals who had job offers and registrations from multiple companies being given notices of intent to revoke their previous H-1B status. This is based, according to USCIS, upon a violation of the attestation that an employer makes upon registering an individual for the H-1B lottery that they have not “worked with, or agreed to work with, another registrant, petitioner, agency, or other individual or entity to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection of the beneficiary or beneficiaries” in their submission.
This comes with immense consequences for that individual. In addition to losing their status, it would require them to be selected in the H-1B lottery again before being able to continue employment in an H-1B capacity, and based on the language of the notices, it could create perhaps insurmountable obstacles in obtaining future immigration benefits. USCIS has also stated that it is referring companies to law enforcement for potential criminal proceedings, though the extent of this remains to be seen.
We do not yet know what effect these investigations will have on this year’s filing numbers. It could mean that we do see additional selections if fewer companies actually move forward with a petition by June 30th. The bigger impact, though, seems to be on last year’s applications through these notices of intent to revoke H-1B status.
For someone who has received a Notice of Intent to Revoke, or for a company that is seeing these notices arrive for their employees, contact us to discuss potential ways forward. It is not unlawful for someone to be registered into the lottery by multiple companies if there are legitimate job offers at each, and so there may be effective ways to respond to these notices, or otherwise push back on this agency action.
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