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US H-1B Visa Lottery System Resulted in Abuse, Fraud, Federal Agency Says




US H-1B Visa Lottery System Resulted in Abuse, Fraud, Federal Agency Says

USCIS said it is in the process of initiating referrals from law enforcement for criminal prosecution.

Washington:

The computerized lottery designed to select successful H-1[ads1]B applicants each year has resulted in abuse of the system and a sharp increase in fraudulent efforts, a federal agency said Friday.

In an unusual statement, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said Friday, based on evidence from the fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap seasons, that it has already conducted extensive fraud investigations, denied and revoked petitions.

USCIS said it is in the process of initiating referrals from law enforcement for criminal prosecution.

“The H-1B program is an important part of our nation’s immigration system and our economy, and USCIS is committed to implementing the law and helping to meet the ever-changing needs of the U.S. labor market,” it said.

“We are working on an upcoming H-1B Modernization Rule that will, among other things, propose improvements that strengthen the H-1B registration process to reduce the potential for abuse and fraud in the H-1B registration system,” it added.

USCIS said during the registration period for the FY 2024 H-1B cap, it saw a significant increase in the number of registrations submitted compared to previous years.

It said there were 780,884 H-1B visa applications in this year’s computer-generated lottery, compared to 4,83,927 in 2023 and 3,01,447 in 2022 and 2,74,237 in 2021.

In general, it saw an increase in the number of registrations submitted, the number of registrations submitted on behalf of recipients with multiple registrations, and the number of registrations submitted on behalf of unique recipients with only one registration.

The number of registrations relating to people who applied more than once rose to 408,891 this year from 165,180 last year and 90,143 the year before, it said.

The federal agency warned that if the information provided by an applicant or company was not correct, it would detect that the registration was not properly submitted and the potential applicant would not be eligible to file a petition based on that registration.

USCIS may deny a petition, or revoke a petition approval, based on a record that contained a false attestation and was therefore not submitted properly.

“Unfortunately, USCIS may also refer the individual or entity that submitted a false attestation to appropriate federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and further action, as appropriate,” it said.

A group of American tech workers, campaigning against H-1B visas, said they have been talking about such a scam in recent years.

“The Trump administration had proposed a solution to the H-1B lottery by prioritizing selection based on the highest salary. You sued the administration, so now you must deal with the fraud you complain about,” it said in a statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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