H-1B Visa Program and TARP recipients – Ongoing Issues

Posted On: April 16, 2009

According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), several United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) service centers have begun to issue Requests for Additional Evidence (RFEs) for all H-1B petitioning employers who did not include the TARP recipient funding page of Form I-129, Data Collection with their H-1B FY 2010 petitions.

Due to the passage of the Employ American Worker Act (EAWA), the USCIS is required to collect Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) information on each H-1B petitioning employer. Due to the fact that Form I-129 was not re-designed and accessible to reflect this change in the visa program until a few days before the H-1B FY 2010 cap opened, submission of the newly designed Form I-129, Data Collection was not mandatory. The USCIS has indicated that if H-1B petitions were submitted without the TARP information, they would not be rejected. In conclusion, the USCIS has determined that in order to collect the required TARP information, they will need to issue RFEs. So far, practitioners who have received RFE’s requesting TARP information have reported that the USCIS has only requested the single page of Form I-129, Data Collection (page 13) which indicates whether the petitioner has received TARP funding or not.

As immigration law is already complex is nature, it is important to have an attorney experienced in the field, who is ready and willing to advise when changes occur. Contact the MVP Law Group if you have any further questions regarding EAWA and its effect on your company.