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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

USCIS final rule targets fraud among employer H-1B visa program

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Updates are coming to the H-1B visa program, under a final rule recently released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sought to beef up integrity measures for registration, emphasize a beneficiary-centric selection process and provide new codifications.

H-1B visas are meant for nonimmigrants, offering U.S. employers a path to hiring foreign workers with specialized skills for a certain amount of time. By centering related processes on the beneficiary, registrations will now be selected by unique beneficiary rather than by the number of registrations submitted by their employer, something the USCIS hopes will reduce fraud and even the odds for all beneficiaries. Each beneficiary must be registered under one passport or travel document.

Additionally, the agency set out a new Fee Schedule, with adjusted registration fees that will increase the agency’s revenue. The registration fee for the period beginning in March 2024 will remain $10.

The final rule also established USCIS ability to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if false statements or other invalidating items were found. If the registration is declined, disputed or is not reconciled after submission, USCIS will also reserve the right to deny or revoke the affiliated H-1B petition. On the plus side, online filing of H-1B petitions will be acceptable.

“We’re always looking for ways to bolster integrity and curtail the potential for fraud while improving and streamlining our application processes,” USCIS Director Ur Jaddou said. “The improvements in these areas should make H-1B selections more equitable for petitioners and beneficiaries and will allow for the H-1B process to be fully electronic from registration, if applicable, until final decision and transmission of approved petitions to the Department of State.”

Most of these changes will begin with the FY 2025 initial registration period, which opens on March 6, 2024 and will run through March 22, 2024.