H-1B Visa Applications Skyrocket for Tech Industry: US Agency Expresses Concerns
As per information from the source, the number of applications for H-1B visas used in the tech industry has soared for the second year in a row. However, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has raised concerns that some applicants may be rigging the system to gain an unfair advantage.
According to the USCIS, there were 780,884 applications for H-1B visas in this year’s computer-generated lottery, up 61% from 483,927 last year. This alarming increase has caused the USCIS to issue a warning and launch extensive fraud investigations.
The H-1B visa is critical to many tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebookand IBM to fill hard-to-find positions. This visa is used by software engineers and others in the tech industry, and it has been a controversial topic in the immigration debate. Critics argue that it is used to undermine US citizens and lawful permanent residents, while industry executives contend that it is necessary for them to compete in a global marketplace.
Last year, the USCIS required workers who won the lottery to sign affidavits stating that they did not attempt to deceive the system by working with others to submit multiple offers under multiple company names. By doing so, they could market their services to tech companies that wanted to fill positions but did not have visas, effectively becoming labor contractors. These efforts aimed to prevent abuse of the registration system and ensure that only those who complied with the law were eligible to file an H-1B cap petition.
The agency expresses serious concerns that some may have unfairly increased their chances of selection. According to USCIS, the significant number of eligible beneficiary registrations with multiple eligible registrations has left no choice for authorities but to conduct extensive fraud investigations. It has already denied some petitions and is referring some cases to federal prosecutors for possible crimes.
The number of records linked to people who applied more than once rose to 408,891 this year from 165,180 last year and 90,143 the year before. In light of this development, the USCIS has reaffirmed its commitment to deterring and preventing abuse of the registration process.
Major tech companies have witnessed their winning lottery submissions dwindle as the number of applications has skyrocketed in the past two years. This situation raises concerns and may significantly impact the tech industry’s recruiting practices.
In closing, it is essential to have a fair system of visa allocation, especially in the tech industry, which has become a vital part of the US economy. Concerns over the abuse of the visa lottery system should be taken seriously, and appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure transparency and fairness in the visa allocation process.