On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release entitled, Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse. In this release, the USCIS announced the “multiple measures” the agency will be employing to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The purpose of the H-1B visa program is to help U.S. companies employ highly-skilled workers from foreign countries, but only when there is a “shortage” of qualified workers here in the U.S. According to the USCIS, there are many American workers who are willing, qualified, and quite able to fill these positions. “Protecting American workers by combating fraud in our employment-based immigration programs is a priority for USCIS,” says the agency. As of April 13, 2017, the USCIS started putting more focus and attention on H-1B petitioners, as well as the companies that hire H-1B employees. Here are the three main things the USCIS is focusing on:
- Situations where the USCIS is unable to verify a company’s basic business information;
- Employers who have a high ratio of H-1B workers; and
- Companies petitioning for H-1B workers who work for another company, or who work at another location for the organization, or who work off-site.
Random and Unannounced Visits
In the press release, the USCIS announced that it in an effort to detect H-1B fraud and abuse, the agency will be continuing targeted and unannounced visits across the nation, which it’s been doing since 2009. Additionally, the USCIS established a special email address for individuals, including American workers, to report possible violations and other relevant information connected to H-1B fraud and abuse. When people submit information via the above email address, it will be used for investigations and referrals to law enforcement for possible prosecution. If you need more information about H-1B fraud and abuse and its related prosecutions, contact our Plano immigration firm.