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Business Immigration Zone (BIZ): USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

April 04, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced multiple measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. U.S. companies use the H-1B visa program to recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Effective April 3, 2017, USCIS will take a targeted approach by making site visits to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees across the country.

Specifically, USCIS will focus on:

  • Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;

  • H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and

  • Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

    Targeted site visits will allow USCIS to focus resources where fraud and abuse of the H-1B program may be more likely to occur, and determine whether H-1B dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers. USCIS will continue these random and unannounced visits nationwide.

    To aid in its intent to deter and detect H-1B program abuse, USCIS has established an email address which will allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) to submit tips, alleged violations and other relevant information about potential H-1B fraud or abuse. Information submitted to the email address will be used for investigations and referrals to law enforcement agencies for potential prosecution. Additionally, individuals can report allegations of employer fraud or abuse by submitting Form WH-4 to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division or by completing ICE’s HSI Tip Form.

    Contact Brandon Davis at brandon.davis@phelps.com for more information about the H-1B visa program.