The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has denied allegations that up to 900 registrations for new H-1B petitions have been wrongly denied as duplicates by the agency due to a malfunction in the new electronic registration system.
While attorneys believe that there are problems with the new system of the USCIS, the agency said that the scope of the denials was much higher than first thought, VisaGuide.World reports.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association started noticing the problem when members indicated that they had received a denial notification, on bases that H-1B registration is a duplicate submission.
Through the new system developed by USCIS agency, the employer, or their attorney if it is represented by, is eligible to register a company and submit the foreign citizen’s name they want to petition for the H-1B temporary visa.
As per the initial period for H-1B visa Cap, for the fiscal year, 2021 USCIS received nearly 275,000 registrations, surpassing the annual cap of 85,000 visas allowed under the US law.
On April 2, some 31 immigration attorneys, reported to AILA that 103 H1-B registrations were wrongly rejected as duplicates. The number increased since then, and as of April 9, at least 61 immigration attorneys reported that up to 170 registrations had faced the same problem, the associate director of government relations at AILA, Diane Rish announced.
According to an official of USCIS, approximately 900 H-1B registrations were denied as duplicates, far more than the 170 registrations reported by attorneys who contacted AILA.
“Maintaining the integrity of the immigration system remains at the forefront of the USCIS mission, especially during difficult times. Removing duplicate petitions is a longstanding practice, not new for this fiscal year, which preserves fairness for everyone using the H-1B program,” the USCIS official pointed out.
He said that because the online system is new and because giving everyone a fair chance at securing the ability to submit a petition is important, the USCIS embarked on a review of every deletion that appears to be due to duplication.
“Furthermore, USCIS reviewed all registrant inquiries related to duplicate denied notices and examined each inquiry carefully, but the agency did not find any duplicate registration invalidations due to technical issues associated with the registration system; rather they were properly identified and deleted,” the official highlighted.
In response to this problem to AILA, attorneys said that the registrations who needed additional information, such as details, where the first ones to be denied, even though the attorneys believed they followed the USCIS instructions in the right way.
Regarding the attorneys “conclusion”, USCIS said that there were two most common reasons a registration was invalidated. First, an employer and its attorney each submitted a registration for the same beneficiary, and second, an attorney withdrew Form G-28 (a form used to show representation) but did not delete the beneficiary.
While the USCIS new electronic system eliminated approximately 900 registrations, USCIS said these denials were not a mistake on its part.
On March 30, the United States Citizenship and Immigration agency announced that the limit for the preliminary applications for H-1B visas had been reached, for the annual cap of 85,000 visas, as this is the first time USCIS imposed a new electronic registration system.