Employment Law Report
FY24 H-1B Lottery and Concerns of Fraudulent Registrations
By: Glen M. Krebs, with assistance from Will Miller, Wyatt Summer Associate
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced on March 27, 2023, that it received enough electronic registrations to reach the FY 2024 H-1B cap, including the advanced degree exemption known as the master’s cap. FY 2024 continued its upward trend of eligible registrations, coming in at 758,994. This number is a considerable increase in registrations from FY 2023, which only saw 474,421. The eligible registrations for beneficiaries with no other eligible registrations increased year over year from 309,241 in FY 2023 to 350,103 in FY 2024, a modest and reasonable increase. The staggering and concerning measure was the 147% year over year increase in eligible registrations for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations, with 165,180 in 2023 compared to 408,891 in 2024. Overall, the number of selections for the H-1B cap was 110,791 for 2024, down from 127,600 in 2023. The decrease was due to “establishing a higher anticipated petition filing rate by selected registrants based on prior years and higher projected Department of State approvals of H-1B1 visas, which count against the H-1B cap.”
USCIS indicated that fraud in the registration process may be attributable for the sharp increase in eligible registrations for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations. Registrants are “learning to play the system” by collaborating with employers and filing multiple registrations with different employers or job positions without real intent to be employed by the claimed employer or perform the claimed position. Accordingly, USCIS released a statement reminding that each prospective petitioner must sign an attestation, under the penalty of perjury, that all information submitted is true, that there is a legitimate job offer, and that there has been no fraudulent collaboration between the petitioner and the beneficiary. Any submission that violates this attestation may result in a petition denial or revocation of an approved petition. The offending individual or company may also be referred to appropriate federal law enforcement agencies for further investigation and appropriate action, if necessary.
The H-1B visa program applies to individuals who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation (generally requiring a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent), services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.