Is the US visa application process becoming more difficult amid the H1-B fraud concerns? The answer is currently unknown, but recent developments indicate that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking steps to prevent fraudulent H1B visa registration activities.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this.
The USCIS’s concerns regarding H1B visas
Last week, the USCIS expressed concerns about the disproportionate spike in H1B visa applications this year. The USCIS pointed out that the visa registration process was being abused, and therefore it had launched extensive fraud investigations.
The data revealed by USCIS showed that, for the second year in a row, the number of applications for H1B visas has increased.
This year, there were 780,884 applications in the lottery, a 61% increase from last year’s 483,927, and a 57% increase from the 308,613 applications received the year before that. These figures have raised concerns about the fairness of the H1B visa registration process.
What is H1B visa fraud?
H1B visa fraud refers to any illegal activity that is aimed at increasing an individual’s chances of being selected in the lottery. Rajiv S. Khanna, from immigration.com, opines that companies that collude with individuals or other companies or offer fake job opportunities may face penalties.
Every lottery registrant (employer) is required to electronically sign a declaration, under penalty of perjury, affirming that the job offer is genuine and that there is no collusion. Perjury is a serious crime punishable by multiple years in prison.
Will the H-1B petition approval become tougher?
Khanna points out that the USCIS is cracking down on duplicate filings and that employers can expect greater scrutiny. However, there is still no clarity on the future of H1B visa lotteries, and the topic is currently under discussion.
The USCIS has suggested measures to curb H1B fraud, such as tying each entry to an individual’s passport number and restricting them to only one application. This would mean that each individual would have only one application, ensuring that no one unfairly increases their chances of being selected.
However, this proposal may create issues as there could be more than one genuine job offer that might not violate any regulations.
The impact on the tech industry
It remains to be seen what impact these measures will have on the tech industry. However, one thing is clear: they will affect job seekers and companies alike. The success of these measures will depend on their implementation and enforcement.
The USCIS’s concerns about the abuse of the H1B visa registration process have prompted extensive fraud investigations. While the USCIS is cracking down on duplicate filings and employers can expect greater scrutiny, the future of H1B visa lotteries is still unclear.
The USCIS has proposed measures to curb H1B fraud, but the impact on the tech industry remains to be seen. Ultimately, the success of these measures will depend on their implementation and enforcement.
(Source: Livemint, edited by travelobiz staff)
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