AILA Claims Over 100 H1-B Petitions Rejected due to Glitch in USCIS System

April 2, 2020 by Prabalta Rijal

The USCIS has apparently denied over 100 and maybe 100s of H1-B registrations that have been filed for H-1B petitions. 

According to the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, they suspected that there was something wrong with the system after they started getting complaints from immigration lawyers across the country claiming that their petitions had been rejected although they were certain that they had not submitted duplicate applications. 

The AILA apparently had received reports from over 30 immigration lawyers, who reported that over 100 H1-B registrations had been mistakenly rejected as duplicates.

The USCIS System Glitch

This year the USCIS received over 275,000 H1-b registrations and then notified employers by March 31, if any, of their registrations had selected in the lottery. 

The lottery was apparently held because the 275,000 registrations far exceeded the 85,000 new H-1B petitions allowed annually under U.S. law (a 65,000-annual limit and a 20,000 exemption from the limit for individuals with a U.S. advanced degree).

The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association stated the problem came into light after a large number of attorneys contacted them one after the other stating that they have received a denial notification for a number of their H-1B electronic registrations on the basis that they were duplicate submissions. 

Meanwhile, the USCIS has failed to take the glitch into consideration and the USCIS Deputy Director in a press statement issued on April 1st stated that the new system had been well received by its users. 

The USICS’s Statement on the New System

The USCIS in a press statement issued on Tuesday, 1st of April 2020, stated that the H-1B electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system. 

According to USCIS, over 275,000 unique registrations were submitted during the initial registration period. Roughly 46% of all registrations were for prospective beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees. There were more than 40,000 registration accounts created, and nearly 81% of submitted registrations were for potential beneficiaries from India (67.7%) and China (13.2%). Prior to the launch of the electronic registration system, USCIS conducted robust public outreach to ensure users were equipped to effectively use the new system.

“The new H-1B electronic registration system has been an overall success. As a result of this modernized process, the amount of paper and data exchanged between USCIS and petitioners will dramatically decrease this year,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. 

“The positive feedback received by users of the H-1B registration system, the limited amount of technical issues experienced during the registration period, and the ability to immediately respond to questions from registrants was the result of a comprehensive effort developed over the course of more than a year. This new registration system is one of many ways USCIS is improving the H-1B program.”

Similarly in another press statement issued on April 1st the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) will remain suspended until at least May 3, 2020. 

The statement released by USCIS stated that in-person services may resume on May 4, 2020, depending upon what transpires with the COVID-19 epidemic. 

The suspension of the services is part of the sweeping changes that the Trump administration has made since the COVID-19 outbreak.