To prevent multiple registration for the same beneficiary, USCIS has added an attestation requirement this year
As the H-1B season officially kicked off on March 1, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has added an additional attestation requirement with registration of applicants.
The new requirement, seems to be aimed at curbing multiple registration of the same beneficiary for H-1B cap selection — a practice, that a few applicants and employers have in the past deployed to further their chances of a draw in the lottery.
While there has been some debate in the immigration circles already about the ethicality of the practice, the latest requirement, without a doubt suggests that USCIS intends to keep a close watch on the authenticity of multiple registrations.
Read: All that you need to know about H-1B 2023 lottery (February 7, 2022)
As per USCIS, when you submit your registration(s), you must attest, under penalty of perjury, that all of the information contained in the submission is complete, true and correct.
But for Fiscal Year 2023, the attestation that is required before submission will state, “I further certify that this registration (or these registrations) reflects a legitimate job offer and that I, or the organization on whose behalf this registration is being submitted, have not worked with, or agreed to work with, another registrant, petitioner, agent, or other individual or entity to submit a registration to unfairly increase chances of selection for the beneficiary or beneficiaries in this submission.”
So, would this new requirement really prevent unethical employers from making multiple registrations?
Immigration attorney Johnson Myalil of Virginia based High-Tech Immigration Law Group, PLLC tells the American Bazaar, “Though this attestation requirement may not completely prevent unethical employers from making multiple registrations for the same beneficiary through their associate or friendly companies, USCIS can use the attestation as an important tool to investigate such entities and individuals and bring appropriate action against them.”
Myalil also warns the H-1B applicants to be mindful of how they are being represented. He adds, “H-1B aspirants should be very vigilant if some employer or their representatives offer to register them for H-1B selection through multiple companies, because even if they are selected in the lottery, USCIS can revoke the selection if it determines that there was multiple registration for the beneficiary as a deliberate effort to increase the chances of selection.”
Read: USCIS reaches fiscal year 2022 H-1B Cap (March 2, 2022)
It may be noted that For FY 2022, USCIS had to conduct two additional draws of the H-1B lottery. One of the major reasons pointed out was that many of the selected beneficiaries had already filed H-1B petitions based on their selection through some other employer.
While some employers may have exploited the system, which cannot be condoned, the practice of multiple registration through valid, authentic job offers though debatable may not be illegal.
Kansas city based immigration attorney, Rekha Sharma-Crawford of Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, LLC delves deeper into the reasons behind some multiple applications and asks for a solution to the larger problem.
“I can say that the practice (one employee entering the lottery through different companies) is likely born out of deep desperation and frustrations,” she says.
Read: H-1B Electronic Registration Process (February 23, 2022)
“That visa categories are badly backlogged for India is openly known. USCIS and Congress need to fix the underlying problems that exist to meet the needs of the employer and the employees,” Sharma says. “If that occurred, then people would have no reason to try and increase their odds of success.”
“The problem needs a more thought out solution rather than a knee jerk response to attack employers and workers just trying to even the playing field under US immigration laws.”