H-1B fraud: Here’s how consultancies scam applicants without real job offers

  • H-1B visa fraud: One user on the Reddit platform has shared a list of 128 consultancies that take applicants' money to file multiple H-1B applications without a real job offer.

Livemint
Updated6 May 2023
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.(AP)

 

The US federal agency last week proclaimed that it has detected fraud and abuse in the H-1B registration process. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), some companies committed fraud to artificially boost their chances of winning the coveted visa for their skilled foreign workers in the computerised drawing of lots, the US immigration services pointed out.

Against this backdrop, several netizens have shared their grievances about who failed to get the H-1B visa on the internet. One user on the Reddit platform has shared a list of 128 consultancies that take applicants' money to file multiple H-1B applications without a real job offer.

The user wrote, "I put up a list of fraud consultancies and their contact information. This list consists of 128 consultancies applying multiple applications or scamming applicants by getting their money. If you are a genuine applicant and did not get an H1B visa this year, please don't be hard on yourself. Understand you have little change because of these consultants and applicants". Some of the consulting firms that are involved in alleged H-1B visa scams as per a Reddit user are HEPTE Overseas, Pinnacle Soft Solutions, IMINDs, ALAMEDA Tech Solutions, Logging-In.com INC, INTUITES, Start Work Force, Loopbell, Abroad Learning, IBLE Soft, Indus Group Inc, etc. It must be noted that Mint could verify the background of these firms.

Twitter user Debargya Das tweeted about H-1 IT outsourcing scams.

Das shared a screenshot of an E-verified firm that claimed that it is sponsoring h-1B for this cap season. The screenshot mentioned, “Consultants who are willing to get registered with our company can please send me the following documents”.

 

H-1b visa scam

Email from one such “Skilltune” promises H-1B sponsorship “if they are with any employer” without a real job offer, for $2.5-5,000, Das wrote.

He added, "96,000 people accounted for 409,000 applications, squeezing out honest workers from the H-1B process. Reprehensible".

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

The US tech companies depend on it to hire thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The USCIS, the federal agency that awards H-1B visas, said it is in the process of initiating law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.

In an unusual statement, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday said, based on evidence from the Financial Year 2023 and Financial Year 2024 H-1B cap seasons, it has already undertaken extensive fraud investigations and denied and revoked petitions.

The USCIS, the federal agency that awards H-1B visas, said it is in the process of initiating law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.

It said that it has found that a small number of companies are responsible for entering the same applicants into the lottery multiple times, with the alleged goal of artificially boosting their chances of winning a visa.

The USCIS said during the registration period for the FY 2024 H-1B cap, it saw a significant increase in the number of registrations submitted compared to prior years.

It said there were 7,80,884 applications for H-1B visas in this year’s computer-generated lottery, against 4,83,927 in 2023 and 3,01,447 in 2022, and 2,74,237 in 2021.

The number of registrations tied to people who applied more than once rose to 408,891 this year from 165,180 last year and 90,143 the year before, it said.

H-1B visas are issued for three years and can be extended another three years.

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