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Immigration Law

U.S. Firms, Workers Try to Beat H-1B Visa Lottery System

"Companies eager to hire foreign talent, mostly in the tech sector, and workers hoping for jobs in the U.S. have found ways to game a government lottery used to distribute a limited number of visas each year.

Immigration lawyers involved in the process say they have helped companies file multiple H-1B skilled-worker visa applications for the same person. Some workers, meanwhile, are accepting offers from multiple employers, each of whom files a petition on their behalf, the lawyers say.

Such practices, which aren’t illegal, likely have occurred in the past without public notice but appear to be proliferating as the economy rebounds and competition for the coveted visas intensifies, immigration lawyers say. Smaller businesses say such moves disadvantage them because they can’t afford to match them. Lawyers charge $2,000 to $4,000 to prepare each petition.

... “Some companies are being creative, within the boundaries of ambiguous regulations, to maximize their chances of winning the lottery,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration scholar at Cornell Law School." - Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2015.

- LexisNexis expert author Stephen Yale-Loehr