Highly skilled professionals seeking H-1B visas can breathe a sigh of relief. The annual lottery for these coveted visas saw a significant decrease in applications this year, and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) is attributing this to a successful crackdown on fraudulent practices.

Multiple Applications a Thing of the Past?

According to a recent USCIS announcement, the number of lottery entries dropped nearly 40% in 2024 compared to 2023. This translates to 470,342 entries this year, down from a staggering 758,994 last year. Interestingly, the overall number of unique applicants remained relatively stable. This suggests that the stricter rules implemented to prevent individuals and companies from submitting multiple applications are working as intended.

USCIS Vows Continued Vigilance

USCIS is confident that their “beneficiary-centric selection process” is weeding out fraudulent attempts. In a statement, they acknowledged the positive impact of these new measures and warned that they will “deny or revoke any petitions and make law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution” if they discover any attempts to circumvent the system in future years.

What Does This Mean for You?

This news is particularly encouraging for legitimate applicants who were previously disadvantaged by those “gaming the system.” With a more level playing field, your chances of securing an H-1B visa through the lottery may have improved.

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