US businesses keen to hire overseas talent, primarily in the technology industry, and employees who want to come to the country to work have discovered methods of manipulating the government system used to send out a specific number of US visas every year. Immigration lawyers claim that they have helped a number of firms to file several H-IB skilled worker US visa applications for the same individuals; meanwhile, a number of workers have tried accepting positions with different employers, who then file separate petitions on their behalf. These practices are not against the law and seem to be getting more popular as the result of the rebounding US economy and growing competition for the US visas, according to the lawyers.
Small businesses claim these tactics put them at a disadvantage, as they do not have the resources to do the same; immigration lawyers charge anything from $2,000 to $4,000 for preparing every petition. The government allows related companies to file H-IB US visa petitions for the same individual if they can demonstrate a genuine need for the position to be filled by the said individual. “Some companies are being creative, within the boundaries of ambiguous regulations, to maximize their chances of winning the lottery,” says Cornell Law School immigration scholar Stephen Yale-Loehr.
2015 marks the third consecutive year that H-IB US visas are oversubscribed, with the visas valid for a period of three years. The number of US visas available is limited by Congress.