It is not very uncommon for some to game the system of H1B lottery by applying multiple petitions. Some of the ways employers were doing this were by filing petitions by their parent company, subsidiary company, or other companies that are working for the same vendor or client project. USCIS has passed a rule to fix all of this gaming done by these kinds of petitioners. It comes at the last few days before H1Bs will be filed as employers cannot change their plans or have less time to change plans.
What is the H1B Duplicate Petitions Policy by USCIS ?
USCIS adopted this policy based on the decision done by Adminstrative Appeals Office for case ‘Matter of S-Inc”. All in all the ruling says that, if there are multiple petitions filed for the same employee or beneficiary by two or more companies, USCIS has the judgement to decide, if two companies are related or not. If they believe that two companies are related by any means, they will reject and revoke the petitions and will not refund. They clarify that related entities or companies does not mean that they have a structure of Parent and Subsidiary or any kind of legal framework that they are related…two companies are considered related, if they are applying for same or similar job at the same end client. Basically, imagine, multiple vendors for same client filing for H1B for an employee so that at least one of them gets picked to increase the odds, even though they are not legally related.
This is not something new, but it was not enforced in the past. In general, an employer cannot file multiple petitions for an employee or beneficiary, this has been there for a long time since 2008. What was not enforced is the concept of multiple petitions filed by related companies. There were RFEs given for such cases in the last 4 to 5 . years, but not really enforced. But, with this new adopted decision, it will be enforced. This rule only applies to H1B Cap Subject petitions filed for a fiscal year in April.
What’s the impact of the H1B Duplicate Petitions Rule ?
Well, it will have a huge impact on all the employers or employees, who have been filing multiple petitions and gaming the system. It is going to further help the single petition filers to clean up the fraud. It will very likely impact the number of RFEs, if there are multiple petitions filed, even in really genuine cases, like if you got offers from Google & Amazon, etc. Overall, this is a good thing for all the people who are filing one H1B in good faith.
What do you think ?