USCIS Ramping Up Enforcement Against H1B Employers06 Apr 2017
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release on April 3, 2017, announcing “multiple measures to further deter and detect H1B visa fraud and abuse.” Per the release, the USCIS will use new criteria to determine which H1B employers and worksites to target for site visits. A new web page and eMail address have also been established to make it easier for stakeholders to notify the USCIS of suspected H1B abuse and/or fraud.
Targeted Site Visits for H1B Dependency and Offsite Employment
The USCIS has been conducting random site visits to the offices of H1B petitioners and work locations since 2009. Effective immediately, however, the USCIS will increase the number of site visits it conducts, and use additional criteria to “take a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country.”
Site visits will be focused on the following types of H1B petitioners:
- Employers whose basic information cannot be confirmed through commercially available databases
- H1B-dependent employers
- Employers petitioning for H1B workers who will work off-site at another organization’s location (i.e. consulting companies)
New Web Page and eMail Address to Report H1B Abuse
A new eMail address ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov <ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov> has been established to make it easier to notify the USCIS of any suspected fraud or abuse within the H1B program. The USCIS also has created an online reference page that lists the other available avenues to report suspected H1B fraud or abuse, and provide examples of types of actions that may indicate H1B fraud. The page also summarizes the protections offered to H1B workers who report suspected fraud or abuse.
Trump Administration Suspicious H1B Program Harms U.S. Workers
It should be noted that this USCIS news release is titled, Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse. Further, the same morning it was issued, the U.S. Department of Justice sent out a press release that cautions H1B employers not to discriminate against U.S. workers. The Trump Administration is clearly suspicious of the H1B program and its impact on the wages and unemployment rate of U.S. workers. To that end, the Administration is expected to continue focusing on compliance and enforcement within the H1B program. This means that H1B employers must redouble their efforts to ensure they remain compliant with all aspects of the related laws and regulations.
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