U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country.
Beginning today, USCIS will take a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners, and the worksites of H-1B employees. 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 random and unannounced visits nationwide. These site visits are not meant to target nonimmigrant employees for any kind of criminal or administrative action but rather to identify employers who are abusing the system.
Existing H-1B Fraud Measures
Since 2009, USCIS has conducted random administrative site visits to ensure that employers and foreign workers are complying with requirements of the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. USCIS refers many cases of suspected fraud or abuse to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation.