A recent letter by Mr. Francis Cissna, USCIS Director to Mr. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, United States Senate may bring a lot of changes to the H1B and H4 Program to Combat Fraud and Abuse of the Program. USCIS is actively reviewing existing regulations, policies, and programs and creating a strategy to implement the President's Executive Order "Buy American and Hire American"
What is the Executive Order "Buy American and Hire American"?
On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order.
Buy American refers to a set of procurement laws about how goods and manufactured products are obtained and how they’re used in federal projects or federally funded projects.
Hire American generally refers to creating jobs and e higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers and to protect their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws. It also directs DHS, in coordination with other agencies, to advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.
Mr. Cissna's letter to Mr. Grassley, is more focused on the H1B, H4-EAD, H2B, L1 Non-Immigrant Programs. It is a three-page letter and based on my understanding the following should be noted by our Readers.
Key Factors of the Letter
Third Party Placements of H1B Workers
H1B Petitioning employers must provide a detailed itinerary of services if the H1B employee works at more than one location.
USCIS will request more documentation like Contracts, SOWs, Client Letters to ensure that an Employer-Employee Relationship will exist between the H1B Petitioner and the beneficiary
H1B Employers must demonstrate that they have definitive work or projects for the requested period of employment.
Example: If an employer has filed an H1B for three years, it is essential that they have a contract for the entire period of H1B Authorization requested and it cannot be speculative like "Possibility of Extensions" "Long Term" etc.
Reporting of abuse of H1B/H2B Programs using an eMail
USCIS has a dedicated email address for the public to report abuse of these programs. It is not clear on how USCIS will handle anonymous and whimsical reports by people who will provide a false statement for personal benefits.
Any thoughts or opinions? Please comment below.
USCIS Site visits to Employer location and work location for the H1B Program
USCIS proposes to strengthen the site visit programs to ensure H1B Dependant Employers are paying required Salaries to qualify for Recruitment and Attestation requirements by the USDOL (LCA)
Reversal of H4 EAD Program
The reversal of H4 EAD may result in severe financial trouble to families where an H4 EAD spouse is working. It is possible that many families may have to abandon Real estate in the USA to overcome the mortgage burden. Also, it is important to note that some of the H4 EAD cardholders have set up businesses and employing U.S Workers. Abandoning the H4EAD will also result in these businesses to shut down and the U.S workers to lose their jobs.
What do you think of this letter? Have I missed anything? Please comment post your valuable Comments!
Download Official Letter