DHS' proposed changes in H1B visa lottery may stop fraud
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has now unveiled a proposal promising a transformative shift in the H-1B visa lottery system. According to the Federal Register, some of the provisions being proposed would impact other nonimmigrant classifications, including: H–2, H–3, F–1, L–1, O, P, Q–1, R–1, E–3, and TN.
"Our priority is to attract global talent, reduce undue burdens on employers, and prevent fraud and abuse in the immigration system,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said.
H-1B visa registrations will be selected based on unique beneficiaries under the proposed regulations. This eliminates several submissions on their behalf. The proposal also introduces guidelines for voluntary work-site visits, as well as clarifies requirements for filing new visa petitions in circumstances where employment details change. Further, the proposal allows visa petitioners to qualify as employers even if they hold a majority ownership stake in the business. Under the proposal, the duration of visas sought by beneficiary-owned businesses will be limited to 18 months for the initial petition and the first extension.
The new rules have been broken down by an X user called Deedy, who has highlighted the main points in a series of posts. Here's a look at some of the major points.
1) There were 780K H-1B lottery registration in FY2024 with Indian IT firms registering several times. The current rule says that the lottery would need a passport number and one passport will count as 1 registration.
2) As per the X post, an H-1B can now "hold controlling interest in the petitioning entity," aka, can have a startup they own sponsor them! These will be for 1.5yrs instead of 3yrs at first, to prevent fraud.” Concurrent employment is also allowed with more than two employers.
3) According to the X post, “Definition of cap-exempt H-1B will expand from "primarily" research to "fundamental activity" is research, so a for-profit hospital + research center will count.”
4) Meanwhile, jobs with generic degree requests like ‘engineering'/'business administration' or ‘any bachelor's degree' will not count. In an attempt to prove ‘specialty occupation,' a petitioner has to prove that the qualifying degree field is directly related to the position.