Gaming the H-1B Visa

Stitching together existing frauds into one system

By John Miano on January 22, 2023

If I were a CEO of a foreign company and I wanted to get 3,000 H-1B visas a year, how would I do it?

The problem I would face is that in most years I would need to submit nearly 10,000 visa petitions into the annual lottery to get the desired number of visas. That would require having a huge number of visa-ready workers on stand-by, ready to come to the United States if their petition is selected.

There is an easier solution to this problem than having to assemble legions of workers ready to come to the United States on contingency. All the parts of it have been tried before; this system would just put them all together.

In order for my system to work, I have to operate from a country where I can get fraudulent documents for individuals. We know that such countries exist.

I would funnel money to powerful U.S. politicians to deflect any potential investigation. Direct campaign donations from outside the United States are illegal; under-the-table donations would defeat the purpose here and are unnecessary. Powerful politicians tend to have their own charities in the form of foundations and research centers at universities. I can openly donate to a politician’s charity to buy influence.

I would also donate to local fourth-tier universities to enlist them to participate.

Next, I would estimate the rough number of visa petitions I will need to get the desired number selected in the lottery and create those petitions. For this step, I would take advantage of the fact that the Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker (Form I-129) has no identifying information about the worker other than name and date of birth if the worker is not already in the U.S.

I would have an in-house department for processing visa petitions. This department would create visa petitions for the actual workers available and create fake identities and fraudulent petitions to fill out the number of petitions I estimate I need to file.

I would file my petitions in the H-1B lottery with premium processing. This will effectively ensure that any petitions selected for processing will be rubber-stamped without any scrutiny.

After the H-1B lottery is complete, I would match real workers to petitions. If John Doe’s petition gets selected, that’s a go. If his petition does not get selected, but the fraudulent John Bull petition is, John Doe simply becomes John Bull. I would just need to bribe the right people in my local government to get a fake passport and marriage documentation. The visa petition has no photograph, fingerprint, or anything else that would tie it to a specific individual. I would just need to get the age and any documentation I submitted with the petition to match.

Everything I have outlined here has been done successfully before and H-1B fraud takes place on a massive scale.

Just put the pieces together and do it bigger and better — if you’re not doing this already.

USCIS is rejecting less than 3 percent of petitions, but more than 13 percent of approved petitions are fraudulent, so your odds of getting away with it are pretty good.