Second Lottery for 2022 H-1B Applicants Conducted by USCIS
By: Hannah Welbourn
A second round of H-1B seekers has been selected to submit their petitions for the highly sought-after visa.
This is the second year in a row that USCIS has conducted a second lottery, releasing a statement Thursday reading: “We recently determined that we needed to select additional registrations to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations.”
Last year’s decision to make another round of selections was largely affected by the initial COVID-19 outbreak, as many who were offered employment early in the year were not able to be hired as a result of the pandemic. The Trump Administration’s travel ban also impacted the decision, as many who had been initially selected were then unable to get into the US.
Following this year’s initial selections, more than 500 H-1B visa applicants filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. Those suing were not selected in the 2022 H-1B visa lottery and claim that a loophole in the registration process allowed for multiple–and often phony–employers to register on a single applicant’s behalf.
The plaintiff is calling to eliminate the loophole in the previous administration’s online registration system, wherein there is no limit on the number of employers that can apply on behalf of a single beneficiary; multiple companies can register the same individual.
Because of this, a new industry of consulting firms began profiting off applicants who could pay them to register multiple times under different employers. The lawsuit states that there doesn’t even need to be a legitimate job offer on the table from these employers, and it’s unlikely that USCIS would be able to investigate every single one of these instances.
Since a lottery system determines who is selected to submit H-1B petitions, those who had fraudulent registrations under numerous employers had a higher chance of being selected and thus had an unfair advantage.