Did USCIS Deny H1B Registration by Mistake – ‘Duplicate’ issue?

AILA received complaints about wrong denials for H1B registrations due to duplicate filing. 30+ attorneys say its a glitch in USCIS registration tool. Not given a chance for lottery.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  2 Apr, 20

AILA (American immigration lawyers association) has received complaints from various attorneys about the H1B registration tool and the wrongful denial of some H1B applications on the pretext of ‘duplicate’ filings.

With the completion of the lottery and receiving a record 275k H1b applications, USCIS had announced on Apr 1 that the electronic registration system was extremely successful and was well-received by all employers and attorneys.

Looks like not all were happy though.

H1B Denials Duplicate Registration

AILA started getting reports of H1B denials from various attorneys on Mar 31, 2020.

Almost 100+ cases were reported by 30+ attorneys with the same issue where the case started showing the status ‘denied’ citing the reason as ‘duplicate H-1B registration by the same petition for the same beneficiary’.

Forbes has reported the issue after AILA’s members complained about it.

Is this Glitch in USCIS system confirmed?

There is no information available with respect to this issue from USCIS. We do not know if USCIS will even acknowledge the glitch in their system or not.

Will USCIS re-run H1B Lottery?

Rerunning the lottery is a second probably step which may or may not be done. The first step is to accept the problem in the electronic registration system.

Will AILA lawyers file a lawsuit?

It is too early to say that a lawsuit would be filed or not. Forbes has reported only 100 cases at this time.

It is possible that there are more such applicants who were left out of the lottery. Until there is confirmation on how many applications were really affected and USCIS accepts the mistake, nothing can be said.

Can I Do something about it?

If your applications’ status shows as ‘Denied’ due to duplicate filing, you should contact your employer or attorney and ask them to contact AILA and share your case story.

AILA may bundle all case stories and share with USCIS for a possible solution.

Were all H1B applications affected?

There is no clear answer as USCIS has not confirmed any error in its registration tool yet.

AILA members feel that the issue may be bigger and may have affected more applications that currently reported by some attorneys.

Will USCIS provide a solution?

AILA and attorneys who were affected by this issue have contacted USCIS and are waiting for an answer. It is possible that USCIS may provide a solution after investigating the problem area.

Were the Denials given after Running Lottery?

It seems that USCIS denied the duplicate applications before running the lottery as attorneys started reporting the issue to AILA on Mar 31 itself.

Common Issues

Some examples of cases where H1B was denied based on duplicate filings even though they claim there were absolutely no duplicate filings made:

  • Fragomen’s attorney wanted to add some client information to initial H1B registration. They deleted the old registration and created a new one.
  • Other Attorneys report the case was denied if there was missing ‘other phone’.


Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

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