Multiple H-1B Cap Registrations

Murali Bashyam

Our office has received multiple consultation requests regarding the H-1B cap, multiple cap registrations, and Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) based on multiple registrations for the same person.

The USCIS has made it clear that it is illegal for companies who have common ownership or have colluded to file multiple registrations for the same individual, thus increasing the chances for selection in the H-1B lottery.  The USCIS has also said they will investigate these companies for fraud.

From what we’ve heard and seen, it appears the USCIS is keeping their word and sending out NOIRs in these situations for last year’s H-1B cap cases.

To help the public with this issue, we’ve compiled a list of common questions and provided brief answers to each one. This is a complex and evolving issue, and our answers below shouldn’t be construed as legal advice.  If you want a more detailed answer, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Close up view of a H1B visa


Q:         Will the USCIS take out all the multiple fraud petitions in the 2nd lottery?

A:         First of all, we don’t know if there will be a second lottery this year.  There wasn’t one last year and the number of registrations this year is far greater than last year.  All we know for now is the USCIS is investigating multiple registration from last year’s H-1B cap.  We haven’t seen anything for this year yet.

Q:         Should we get the legitimate job offer after the H1B is picked or before the registration?

A:         You are supposed to have a legitimate job offer from the company before they do the registration on your behalf.

Q:         Is the verbal job offer a valid job offer as well?

A:         It is best to have a written job offer so there’s no confusion as to the terms of your proposed employment.  Also, if the USCIS questions it in the future at least you have it in writing from the proposed employer.

Q:         What do you mean by potential genuine employment? How do Consulting companies have a potential job offer?

A:         A genuine offer of employment means the proposed employer intends to hire you in a specialty occupation and pay the wages offered by them for your employment.  This applies to any company, consulting or otherwise.

Q:         Does a company blacklisted by the USCIS affect me negatively even though their registration for me was legit?

A:         It’s possible.  We’ve seen F-1 students who have been negatively impacted by fraud conducted by their universities, even though they individually did nothing wrong.  The same may happen with H-1B cap cases as well.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Q:         My Wife is waiting for an H4 EAD, which she applied two months ago. She has applied for an H-1B with two different Employers. One H-1B was selected in the lottery. Is it safe to proceed with that H-1B or should she wait for H4 EAD to get approved?

A:         It really depends.  Was the H-1B filed by a legitimate employer with a real job offer?  If so, it should be okay to proceed with the H-1B if it’s a strong case.  Of course, if she gets the H-4 EAD, that would allow her to work for any employer without restriction, so there’s a benefit there as well.

Q:         Is there a database online that gives more information on registrations and companies?

A:         It could exist somewhere on the internet but we’re not aware of any.

Q:         I am on Day 1 CPT but got picked through a consulting company. With everything going on would you recommend filing petition or staying on CPT?

A:         Just because you were selected through a consulting company itself isn’t a bad thing.  There are plenty of good consulting companies in the U.S.  If it’s good company, you shouldn’t be worried.  If you have reservations about the company, then you may want to reconsider and stay on F-1 status.  It just depends on the facts of your situation, and those facts will determine the best course of action.

Q:         If I receive an RFE or NOID for a legitimate offer, what documents would be sufficient to prove?

A:         An employment offer in writing from the company is a good place to start.

Q:         May I know if there are risks of lifetime ban of USCIS if trying to get H1B approval from consultancies? I am trying to get a Contracting job for as petition but if I don’t should I still go ahead with petition? I am scared I might get a lifetime ban.

A:        There is a risk of a ban if you are found to have committed fraud.  In certain circumstances, waivers are available these types of bans.

Q:         What happens if one’s H-1B is revoked when there are in USA?

A:         You would be considered out-of-status at the time of official revocation by USCIS.

Q:         If something happens to my H1b, can I come back to the USA on H4. Or that will be denied too?

A:         It depends on what happens to your H-1B.  If the USCIS accuses you or the employer of fraud, it could impact your H-4 application as well.  We just have to see how far the USCIS decides to take these investigations, and whether it will only focus on the employer or the employee too.

Q:         If I am with a new employer, and if my old employer gets a NOIR or NOID, is the old employer the only channel for me to know about that notice?

A:         Yes, only the employer who received the NOID or NOIR can provide it to you.

Q:         I received a 212a6c1 for misrepresentation during my H-1B stamping stating current employer has done fraud.  Is it beneficial to transfer my H-1B to a new employer?

A:         You can try an H-1B transfer, but this fraud issue might come up during your stamping for a new employer as well.

Q:         I work in a university with cap-exempt H1B. if my H-1B cap-subject petition is denied (NOIR,NOID), what will happen to my existing cap-exempt H1B ?

A:         It would not impact your current cap-exempt H-1B unless you were found to have committed fraud in the cap-subject H-1B process.

Q:         Have you seen any NOIRs for the 2024 cap year (this year) registration?

A:         Not yet.  The only NOIRs we’ve seen are for the FY2023 cap, which was last year.

Q:         I had multiple registrations. I made sure none of the registered employers are connected. Am I good to proceed with filing my petition from any of the three companies that got picked?

A:         It isn’t illegal for multiple companies to file for a person, if they aren’t related by ownership or didn’t collude together to increase the chances you were picked in the lottery.  However, we’ve seen the USCIS question whether collusion existed based on a high number of registrations.  If they question it, it would be hard to prove if you had that many ‘legitimate’ job offers.

Q:         What if one gets a contracting job after getting picked up from a consulting company?  I applied with two consulting companies beside my current employer, who is not consulting company.  I did not pay them, and they said over the phone they have a job for me. I told them I can only join them if I am selected in the H-1B lottery.  Is that a problem?

A:         The companies who registered for you are supposed to have a legitimate job offer for you before they did the registration.  Of course, you can’t join them in H-1B status unless it’s selected in the lottery and approved by USCIS.

Q:         Are they going to investigate for 2022?

A:         So far, we’ve only seen NOIRs for FY2023 H-1B applications, which are last year’s cases.  We haven’t seen any for FY2022 so far.  That doesn’t mean it can’t happen though.  It just depends on how far the USCIS decides to do their investigations into this issue, which we don’t know yet.

Q:         If I have applied through multiple consulting companies (but made sure they don’t have any sister companies), and later if those companies are found to be fraud, do I have chance to defend myself?

A:         It depends on whether you were complicit in the fraud.  You will have a chance to defend yourself, but it will be an uphill battle.

Q:         I registered through multiple companies, and I am currently on H4 visa. Do we have a list of investigated companies?

A:         We are not aware that such a list exists.

Q:         What if the employer does multiple filings without the knowledge of the beneficiary?

A:         You need to send a certified letter to the employer notifying them that these filings were done without your knowledge.  Talk to an employment lawyer, they can help draft such a letter.

Q          What if my H-1B got picked up with the company I’m working for, but I applied with three additional companies and one of those also got selected. But I want to work with the company I am currently working for. I came to know that the second H-1B selection was with their sister company which I came to know after the H-1B was selected in that sister company.

A:         Tell the other company not to file your H-1B application.  That’s all you can do at this point.

Q:         Some of the firms that filed for my H-1B are not agreeing to withdraw the applications. None of them got picked up. What can I do? Will it cause problems in future?

A:         I assume you are referring to the registrations and not applications?  If so, it’s unlikely that a registration that’s not picked will cause a problem.  However, it’ll depend on how far the USCIS wants to take their H-1B fraud investigations.

Q:         I am on F-1 OPT.  I requested several companies to apply for me in this year’s registration.  One of the companies requested that their sister companies register me as well.  I found out this when I was told I was selected in the lottery for one of the sister companies.  This was without knowledge or permission.  If I decided not to go with the sister company and continue with my F-1 OPT, could it create me an issue?  How can I protect myself from future inquiries from the USCIS?

A:         We suggest that you send an e-mail or certified letter to the company informing them you did not authorize them to register you on their behalf and not to file your H-1B with the USCIS.


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