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Are multiple H1B applications legal?

First of all, why would you even want to file multiple H1B applications? Well, it is no surprise that in recent years there were more H1B applications than available visas. Every time that happens, a random H1B lottery is conducted, and this year it is no different. Find the latest news about the H1B Lottery 2017.

So it is obvious, everyone wants to file as many H1B petitions as possible to increase the chances of winning the lottery, but the big question always is: are multiple applications legal, or can they get you into trouble?

Is it legal to file multiple H1B Applications?

So let’s clarify this question once and for all: Multiple H1B applications are legal and will not get you into trouble as long as you stick to the following conditions:

  • Each H1B petition comes from a different employer and is filed for different job positions. If one employer files two H1B applications through subsidiaries for the same job position, that is considered a duplicate application and it is illegal.
  • You file with trustworthy companies that are not under scrutiny of USCIS. You must not engage with companies that have a history of H1B RFE’s and denials due to illegal H1B practices.

For example, you have an offer from Infosys for a project at Amazon and you have an offer from Cognizant for a project at General Electric. These are two distinct employers for two distinct jobs. As such, it is perfectly legal.

Let’s take another example: You have an offer from Infosys for a project at Amazon and you have an offer from Wirpo for the very same project at Amazon. Even though Infosys and Wipro are different employers, they are filing for the very same project. In other words, there is only one job – the one at Amazon. So because there are two petitions for only one job, this would be considered duplicate petition and both of them will end up being denied.

Multiple H1B Applications

When is it not legal?

That being said, never allow a company to file more than one H1B petition for a same job, and only agree to file H1B with companies that you can trust. It is very important to do things right from the beginning in order not to risk an RFE or a denial. Filing H1B with the wrong company can ruin any future immigration plans to the US, and it is just not worth it!

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