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USA: Increased Examination of the H-1B Category

Latest on an increase on examination of the H- 1B Category

The H-1B Category program was introduced in the USA to allow employers in the US to hire highly skilled foreign workers in specialist fields. Over the years there have been concerns about employers abusing the system and choosing to hire foreign nationals instead of local US candidates and in some scenarios replacing US employees with H-1B foreign nationals. With these growing concerns, in an effort to protect US works, three federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, have announced plans to tighten up examination of the H-1B program.

Federal agencies will undertake the following actions;

  • Increase scrutiny on all H-1B petitions
  • Increase site-visits at the workplaces of H-1B holders specifically focusing on the following:o Worksites of H-1B dependent employers – companies that have 15% or more of their US workforce on H1-B visas
    o Worksites of H-1B employees who work at a different location from their employer, and
    o Worksites for companies that do not have information to hand about their business accessible through commercially available data

 

  • ‘Rigorously’ use existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B violations
  • Investigate and prosecute H-1B abuses by ensuring greater coordination between federal agencies
  • Consider changes to the Labor Condition Application in future H-1B cycles
  • Look to improve the H-1B program by looking at legislative changes and existing statutory authorities

To further address the issue in concern United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have launched a new email address to submit tips on alleged H-1B violations or cases of potential H-1B fraud or abuse.

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Immigration team at immigration@sterling.com or call +44(0)20 8836 3359.

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