With the new fiscal year, many individuals seeking work status in the U.S. are turning their eyes to seeking opportunities in the next H-1B lottery for 2024-2025. However, this year many employers, employees and legal practitioners are still completing the additional round of H-1B lottery selections due in large part to the fraud perpetrated via duplicate applications on behalf of the same individuals earlier this year.

The Reality of Fraudulent Multiple Registration

That fraud and misrepresentation occur is a hard reality, however, the scale of the bad actions took everyone aback. Investigations by USCIS that have been reported publicly show the scale at 400,000 fraudulent registrations—this represents almost half of all the registrations filed. The additional insight that these were mostly perpetrated by the same dozen petitioners have validated much of the criticism and feedback that fraud was likely and in this case inevitable.

Even before this past H-1B lottery and the ill turn of events, USCIS to its credit, was already planning on increasing the H-1B registration fee from the current nominal $10 to a significant increase to $210. Based on the proposed rule-making in progress and part of a larger government fee increases, USCIS plans to utilize the additional funds towards the integrity of the registration system. As the H-1B impacted community awaits further news, two proposals already in circulation represent issues raised years ago when USCIS launched the lottery registration process.

Wondering how long it takes to process? Learn about the H-1B processing time.

One Ticket per Person

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and allied tech labor groups have proposed that the lottery selection process be designed for one registration per person so that each applicant has an opportunity. The current system is based on employer position registrations so that a single individual with multiple job offers can register for each job opportunity. Supporters point out that USCIS already captures passport data which is tied to a single individual regardless of how many potential employers have registered so this change can be easily implemented.

Check out this guide on H-1B Frequently Asked Questions. 

H-1B Prioritization for Higher Wage Earners

Critics of U.S. work visa sponsorship, job protectionists and interested labor and lobby groups have pushed to prioritize H-1Bs where the position meets or exceeds a higher offered wage. In their view, this would protect U.S. workers and discourage employers from purposely hiring foreign nationals at lower wages.

The above represent only a portion of the larger conversation to improve the integrity and equity of the H-1B system. Regardless of the differing motivations or points of view, one hopes that an opportunity has finally arrived for USCIS to make real and lasting changes that will do the most good and least harm. Then at least, some positive outcome can help offset the bad faith actions of a few. If you have any questions about the H-1B lottery season, it’s best to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today!