The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced plans to modernize the H-1B registration process, following reports of abuse and fraud by some companies to manipulate the selection of foreign workers through the lottery system. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that enables US companies to employ skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. These visas are particularly important for technology companies, which rely on them to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
In a statement released on Friday, USCIS disclosed that it had detected evidence of fraud and abuse during the Financial Year 2023 and Financial Year 2024 H-1B cap seasons. The agency stated that it had already undertaken extensive fraud investigations and denied and revoked petitions as a result.
The USCIS did not provide specific details on the types of abuse and fraud detected during the H-1B registration process. However, reports suggest that some companies have been attempting to manipulate the lottery system by submitting multiple petitions for the same candidate or by submitting petitions for unqualified candidates.
The USCIS has not disclosed the number of fraudulent cases it has detected during the H-1B registration process. However, the agency stated that it was committed to ensuring the integrity of the H-1B program and protecting American workers.
In its statement, USCIS also announced plans to modernize the H-1B registration process to enhance its efficiency and reduce opportunities for abuse and fraud. The agency stated that it was working to develop a new registration system that would incorporate more sophisticated technology and fraud detection measures.
The USCIS stated that the new registration system would enable the agency to more effectively identify and prevent abuse and fraud during the H-1B registration process. The agency stated that it was committed to ensuring that the H-1B program continued to serve its intended purpose of providing US companies with access to highly skilled foreign workers while protecting the interests of American workers.
The USCIS has not provided a timeline for the rollout of the new H-1B registration system. However, the agency stated that it was committed to ensuring that the system was developed and implemented as quickly as possible.
The USCIS has faced criticism from both US companies and foreign workers for its handling of the H-1B program in recent years. Many US companies have complained about the lottery system used to select H-1B candidates, arguing that it is arbitrary and unreliable. Meanwhile, foreign workers have criticized the program for its high fees and restrictive requirements.
The USCIS has acknowledged the challenges facing the H-1B program and has stated that it is committed to improving the program’s efficiency and effectiveness. The agency has stated that it is working to address the concerns of US companies and foreign workers and to ensure that the H-1B program continues to play a vital role in the US economy.