USCIS first conducted administrative site visits in 2009 with the aim of ensuring employer compliance with the H-1B rules. However, USCIS has never proactively released any guidance or specific information on employers that would be targeted, until yesterday.
On April 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it would roll out several measures with the aim of detecting and deterring H-1B visa fraud and abuses. According to a press release, USCIS will be taking a more targeted approach, conducting site visits to H-1B petitioners and worksites, where (i) USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic information through commercially available data; (ii) H-1B dependent employers (companies with high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers: companies with 25 or fewer full-time employees, more than 7 H-1B workers; companies with 26-50 full-time employees, more than 12 H-1B employees; and companies with 50 or more full-time employees, 15% or more H-1B employees); and, (iii) employers petitioning H-1B workers who work off-site. The site visits will be random and unannounced. USCIS emphasized that these visits are not meant to target nonimmigrant employees for any kind of administrative or criminal action, but rather to identify companies that abuse the H-1B system. Finally, USCIS has, for the first time, established an email address, which allows the public to submit tips, alleged violations and other information about potential H-1B abuse. The implication of this is that employers that are reported via this email address will also become targets for site investigations.
With this USCIS announcement, employers should be prepared to implement internal controls and measures to mitigate possible immigration risk exposure. Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, LLP provides corporations with comprehensive review of their immigration policies, procedures, practices and processes to ensure immigration compliance and eliminate possible exposure to immigration risks. Our corporate auditing service includes I-9 compliance, Labor Condition Application (LCA) review, wage standard reviews, recruitment practice reviews, and employee file retention practices. Additionally, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, LLP assists companies in developing and implementing internal controls, as well as on-site and on-line training to HR staff.
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