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H-1B Lottery FY 2024: USCIS’s Lack of Urgency in Addressing Fraud Disadvantages Honest Applicants

The H-1B visa lottery for fiscal year (FY) 2024 has been plagued by an unprecedented number of fraudulent applications, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) efforts to combat fraud and abuse within the system. With a total of 780,884 registrations submitted and a concerning 408,891 identified as multiple eligible registrations, USCIS’s lack of timely and aggressive action against fraudsters has left many genuine applicants frustrated and disappointed.

While USCIS has taken some measures to investigate and prosecute fraudulent applications, these efforts appear to be insufficient given the sheer scale of the problem. Critics argue that the agency should have been more proactive in addressing this issue, especially given the warning signs from the upward trend observed in the FY 2022 and FY 2023 H-1B registration periods.

Houston immigration lawyers Reddy & Neumann PC have also weighed in on the situation, highlighting the need for more robust measures to tackle the fraud issue. They suggest that increasing the financial commitment required for registration, such as charging the full filing fees at the time of filing the H-1B registration in the lottery, would be a more effective deterrent against fraudulent applications.

Moreover, it is troubling that USCIS selected applicants from the pool of 408,891 duplicate filings, further disadvantaging honest applicants who followed the rules. This raises serious questions about the agency’s ability to effectively screen and filter out fraudulent applications during the selection process.

It is crucial for USCIS to take a more critical and proactive approach in combating fraud within the H-1B program. While they have initiated investigations, prosecuted some fraudsters, and revoked approved petitions, these actions have not been enough to deter fraudulent activity on a larger scale. The upcoming H-1B modernization rule, aimed at improving the registration process and reducing fraud, needs to be implemented urgently to restore the integrity of the program.

In addition, USCIS must enhance its screening and selection process to ensure that only genuine applicants are considered for the H-1B visa lottery. By allowing fraudulent applications to slip through the cracks, USCIS not only undermines the fairness of the system but also puts honest, skilled workers at a disadvantage.

USCIS’s failure to act timely and effectively against fraud in the FY 2024 H-1B lottery has had severe consequences for genuine applicants. It is imperative that the agency steps up its efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute fraudsters, as well as implementing more robust screening and selection processes to prevent fraudulent applications from being considered in future lotteries. USCIS must act decisively to restore the integrity of the H-1B program and ensure that it remains a fair and accessible opportunity for skilled workers from around the world.

By: Rahul Reddy 

Rahul Reddy is the founding partner of Reddy & Neumann PC. He founded our firm in 1997 and has over 23 years practicing employment-based immigration. Rahul‘s vast knowledge of the complex immigration system renders him an invaluable resource and an expert in the field. His personal experience with the immigration system has made him empathetic to each of his client’s cases and empowers him to help others achieve the American Dream.

He is an active member of the immigrant community and is one of the founders of ITServe Alliance. He has been a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.