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H-1B applications drop 40% for FY25

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services announced that lottery bids for the H-1B visa for fiscal year 2025 have fallen by nearly 40 percent.

The ministry announced Tuesday that it had received 470,342 entries for this year’s lottery in the last week of March, a 38 percent drop from last year’s total of 758,994, as reported by AP. However, the number of individuals applying for work in the US remained close, with approximately 442,000 applicants this year compared to 446,000 last year.

USCIS attributes the decline in applications to the department’s crackdown on fraud and abuse of the system. The authorities have hailed this development as a ‘great success’ in the fight against those who exploit the system.

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Technology companies have long complained that their existing employees were unable to participate in the lottery system due to a glut of applications in the system. In many cases, many individuals would submit multiple applications to play the lottery to increase their chances of being picked.

Earlier this year, U.S. immigration officials introduced new rules earlier this year that limit each worker to one visa application, regardless of the number of job offers he or she receives. Remarkably, more than 400,000 of the 759,000 registrations submitted last year were duplicates.

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The changes to the visa application process occurred after the government switched from requiring extensive paperwork to a $10 online registration fee. This change led to a dramatic increase in applications between 2021 and 2023, with the number tripling. The new system allowed applicants to easily apply for multiple positions, ultimately overwhelming both the industry and the government. For example, in 2022, one person submitted bids for 83 different positions.

Over the past few years, nearly 70 percent of all 85,000 available H-1B visa slots, including 20,000 in the master’s quota for advanced US degree holders, have been allocated to Indian technology workers, making them the largest visa category under the cap. -subject H-1B visa category.

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