On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued public statements cautioning employers petitioning for H-1B visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers.
Effective immediately, the USCIS and the DOJ are implementing a more targeted approach to detect H-1B visa frauds and abuses.
Specifically, USCIS announced that when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees, it 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.
If the USCIS suspects fraud or abuse it will report the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation.
85,000 new H-1B visas are available each U.S. fiscal year. The USCIS conducts a “lottery” to randomly select 85,000 petitions to process, and the remainder are simply sent back, unprocessed.
USCIS informed (here) that also the H1B cap has already been reached for this fiscal year.
For more information about the new H-1B visa fraud and abuse detection initiative, visit the Combating Fraud and Abuse in the H-1B Visa Program web page.
For more information and for understanding if you would be eligible for a H-1B visa, contact Craig Dobson