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

Today, Monday April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced multiple measures to “deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse,” including targeted site visits and a new avenue for H-1B visa holders and U.S. workers to report potential violations of the H-1B visa program.

Effective immediately, USCIS will also take a more targeted approach when making site visits to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees. USCIS has indicated that the targeted site visits 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); and
  • H-1B workers who work offsite at another company or organization’s location.

USCIS will continue to conduct random, unannounced administrative site visits nationwide. However, USCIS has indicated that the addition of these targeted site visits will allow the Agency to focus resources where they believe fraud and abuse of the H-1B program may be more likely to occur.

The Agency further clarified that the 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 H-1B visa program.

USCIS has also established an email address which will allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect they or others 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.

AILA Releases Practices Pointers Following I-526 NOID in EB-5 Case

This week the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released Practice Pointers for individuals seeking to file for a green card under the EB-5 Program.  The Practices Pointers come as a result of a recent Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) issued to an EB-5 investor, which confirms prior agency statements indicating that they will review data from other agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of State (DOS), the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Department of Commerce (DOC), and other law enforcement agencies, to verify representations made in the I-526 and I-829 petitions.

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