H-1B Visa Registration Numbers Show Demand Far Exceeds Supply; Changes Are Necessary to Ensure Integrity of the System
Washington, DC — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) urges the Biden Administration to immediately act to ensure the integrity of the H-1B registration system. While AILA applauds the steps USCIS has taken toward efficiency in creating a streamlined registration and lottery process, over the past few years the flaws and vulnerabilities have become impossible to ignore.
The newly released numbers by USCIS from the FY2024 registration process tell the story: there were more than 780,884 registrations and only 110,791 selections. An eye-popping 408,891 registration applications were for individuals on whose behalf multiple employers submitted a registration, a 147% increase in multiple registrations from last fiscal year.
AILA President Jeremy McKinney stated, “These numbers starkly highlight both how the H-1B system doesn’t meet legitimate demand, and how the registration system has been left vulnerable to exploitation. USCIS must act quickly, first, by working with the Department of State to ensure that every single available visa is used. Second, they must immediately promulgate a rule that will change how the H-1B lottery will be run, basing it off individuals with bona fide job offers, rather than registrations. This will ensure fairness in the H-1B registration system for both foreign workers and the businesses, large and small across the country, that depend on the program, before the FY2025 H-1B cap filing season. Finally, they must execute their announced plan to thoroughly investigate, and if appropriate, prosecute those who submit fraudulent registrations.”
AILA Director of Government Relations Sharvari Dalal-Dheini added, “We’ve all known for a long time that the way the H-1B visa statute was written meant the program was not responsive to labor and market demands in a way that would allow it to benefit the economy as much as desired. AILA and our members have consistently drawn attention to the need for a more nimble and adaptable program. The writing on the wall with this year’s registration process cannot be ignored. Congress needs to take a good hard look at the statute, recognize how it could be revised to better meet American workforce needs from small businesses to large corporations, and build out legislation that would ensure at least part of our immigration system would meet the demands of this century.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.