Since taking office in January, President Trump and his administration have announced a “targeted approach” in the investigation of employment-based visa fraud. Therefore, it is important for employers who hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis under the H-1B visa program to comply with the law and regulations of the program.
The H-1B visa program allows employers to temporarily hire highly skilled foreign nationals in specialty fields when there is a shortage of US citizens or lawful permanent residents to fill those positions. Employers must meet specific requirements, such as filing a labor condition application with the Department of Labor. This application requires an employer to establish that foreign nationals will be paid in accordance with the actual and prevailing wage, and that working conditions will be equivalent for both American and foreign nationals, to avoid unfair competition that arises when foreign workers are paid less than US citizens or lawful permanent residents for the same positions.
According to a recent press release, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct site visits to employers with a focus on:
- Cases for which 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, as defined by statute); and
- Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.
If you are an employer of foreign nationals, it is important to remain informed of policy changes and the enforcement priorities under the new administration. The lawyers at The Mazza Law Group are closely monitoring new developments in the law and policy on a daily basis. If you need representation in an immigration matter, please call our office to schedule a confidential consultation today!