USCIS: Policy Memo on Multiple H-1B Filings for the Same Beneficiary by “Related Entities”

by Joseph McKeown

In time for the start of the H-1B cap filing period, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a policy memo addressing the prohibition on multiple H-1B filings for the same beneficiary by "related entities (such as a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate).” The memo is based on the Administrative Appeals Office decision in the Matter of S- Inc.  which addresses a case where two petitioners not legally related or controlled filed two separate cap-subject H-1B petitions on behalf of the same beneficiary in the same fiscal year for the beneficiary to work in substantially the same job for the same end-client through the same two vendors.

Although the petitioner claimed that the two petitioners were not “related entities” since there was no legal relationship, the memo clarifies that “related entities” include "petitioners, whether or not related through corporate ownership and control, who submit multiple petitions for the same beneficiary for substantially the same job.” The memo notes that unless there is a “legitimate business need” for petitioners to file multiple cap-subject petitions for the same beneficiary, the government will deny or revoke the approval of H-1B cap-subject petitions filed by “related entities” for the same beneficiary.