With the H-1B 2022-23 season almost upon us, employers are gearing up to submit their registrations beginning at noon EST on March 1, 2022. The existing H-1B rule states that one employer can submit only one entry for a beneficiary into the H1B lottery. Multiple H-1B filings aren’t allowed. Conversely, an H1B employee can have multiple job offers from different employers and more than one entry filed that way. However, related entities do have restrictions. We’ll go over the details of those restrictions and how to avoid an audit or denial.
What Encompasses “Related Entities”?
A 2018 Memorandum issued by USCIS spells out exactly what restrictions are imposed on companies or “related entities” trying to file multiple H-1B cap petitions for the same H-1B beneficiary.
The original scope of related entities included parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate. The policy memorandum widened the scope to include entities offering positions with circumstances that are “substantially the same.”
“Related entities” include petitioners, whether or not related through corporate ownership and control, that file cap-subject H-1B petitions for the same beneficiary for substantially the same job. USCIS has been clear that they will revoke or deny the approval of multiple cap-subject petitions filed by related entities for one beneficiary unless a legitimate business needs to do so. Discuss with your attorney whether your case qualifies as a legitimate need.
Bar on Multiple H-1B Filings
The regulatory bar on multiple cap-subject H-1B filings states, in pertinent part:
An employer may not file, in the same fiscal year, more than one H-1B petition on behalf of the same alien if the alien is subject to the numerical limitations of section 214(g)(1)(A) of the Act or is exempt from those limitations under section 214(g)(5)(C) of the Act. . . . If USCIS believes that related entities (such as a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate) may not have a legitimate business need to file more than one H-1B petition on behalf of the same alien . . . , USCIS may issue a request for additional evidence or notice of intent to deny, or notice of intent to revoke each petition. If any of the related entities fail to demonstrate a legitimate business need to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the same alien, all petitions filed on that alien’s behalf by the related entities will be denied or revoked.
In the Matter of S-Inc., two employers (petitioners) filed separate cap petitions for the same beneficiary (same fiscal year, substantially the same job, same end-client through the same vendors, etc.) Furthermore, the evidence submitted between the two was often identical. The Director found that the vast similarities between the two individually filed petitioners were enough to make them considered related employers. In the end, the Director revoked the petition’s approval due to relatedness.
How to Handle the H-1B Multiple Filing Restrictions
Due to the stringent regulations placed on H-1B petitions, have an immigration attorney handle your case so you have the most substantial evidence for your case. Doing so can prevent a “related employer” situation like this from arising and having USCIS deny or revoke the petition.
VisaNation Law Group offers free consultations and has an excellent track record of securing approvals for even the most complex H-1B cases.
USCIS is increasingly critical of cases that they adjudicate. Year-over-year, we’ve seen requests for evidence (RFE) go up. The most heavily evaluated cases are those with entry-level positions, Wage Level I salaries, and those that don’t always require a bachelor’s degree. Looking ahead, we anticipate registrations submitted to exceed those of the past year. As a result, your chance of selection may likely be lower.
Steps to Register in the Upcoming H-1B Lottery
- On or after February 21, 2022, at noon EST create an online account with USCIS.
- At noon EST on March 1. 2022, registration opens, and USCIS account holders can submit their registrations along with the non-refundable $10 registration fee.
- At noon EST on March 18, 2022, registration closes.
- USCIS conducts the lottery, starting with the regular cap and ending with the master’s cap.
- On or by March 31, 2022, USCIS notifies lottery winners.
- If USCIS selects your petition, the earliest that you can file your petition is April 1, 2022.
Check out this Complete H-1B 2022-23 Filing Guide with helpful tips, essential date timelines & more!
VisaNation Law Group’s Attorney Fees for H-1B Visa 2022-23 Season
To recap, USCIS will accept one registration per company for a single employee. Contact us to start the preparation process and ensure the best chance of selection. Our fees are highly competitive. Since the stages are tiered, only certain companies will eventually file the complete petitions. The legal fees are as follows:
- One: $550 for the initial registration process, which includes all preliminary case analyses required to file the case, such as SOC, duties, documents, educational check, evaluations, if necessary, FEIN, etc.
- Two: $1,900 will be due if USCIS selects the petition in the lottery for filing, which includes all form/support letter preparation plus case filing within the timeframe
- Three: $500–$1,500 will be the cost of a Request For Evidence (RFE) response, should one later be issued on the case.
Please note that H-1B petitioners have the option to complete the initial registration themselves. But, again, note that if you complete the registration incorrectly, the USCIS may later deny the petition. Once USCIS confirms the selected petition, employers may retain VisaNation Law Group for the complete filing. If that route is chosen instead, the legal fee for preparing the H-1b filing will be $2,300. This fee excludes the cost of responding to any possible RFE that USCIS may issue on the case and any H-4 application required. The price for an RFE response will remain between $500–$1,600, depending upon the complexity of the RFE.