USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

On Monday, April 3rd, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced further measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. USCIS feels they are protecting the American worker by combating fraud in our H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and has made that a priority.

 

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. By filing an H-1B petition with the USCIS, an employer is giving the agency the authority to conduct random site visits to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations governing the H1B nonimmigrant visa program.

USCIS will focus on:

  • Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data. (The USCIS uses an information system named, Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE). VIBE is used to verify business information submitted in support of employment-based petitions.)
  • 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 are intended to allow USCIS to focus resources where the 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.

 

USCIS started the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program in July 2009 as an additional way to verify information. Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officers make unannounced visits to collect information as part of a compliance review.

 

USCIS has also established an email address to report H-1B fraud or abuse. This email address which will allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers) who they suspect 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. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has just released a statement that Employers utilizing the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program should not discriminate against American Workers.

 

For more detailed information about this subject and to review Existing H-1B Fraud Measures, please review the USCIS News Release, “Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse “.

 

 

Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, 4/3/17, News Release:

Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

 

USCIS.gov, 4/3/17, Web Page:

Combating Fraud and Abuse in the H-1B Visa Program

 

USCIS.gov, 10/30/14, Web Page:

Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program