Fueled by the $500.00 per case “H-1B Fraud Fee” paid by employers for every new H-1B application for a new employee, the DHS has instituted significant additional review programs of H-1B employer sponsors. According to the DHS, over 600 employers nationwide are being audited. The Office of Fraud Detention and National Security estimated that 21% of H-1B visa applicants violated H-1B program rules. The most common violation was not paying a prevailing wage to the H-1B beneficiary.
Practice point: For employers to file H-1B applications, the rules for the Labor Condition Applications and H-1B programs are very clear. My advice would be to obtain qualified legal counsel and follow their advise. For my own clients I have developed a five page memorandum which sets forth my client’s obligations under the LCA for H-1B purposes.
Indeed, the US Department of Labor, which regulates Permanent Labor Certification applications through the PERM process has put a virtual stop to the process, citing “integrity” reviews. Simply put, from adjudicating applications within a few weeks or a couple of months, the DOL is now processing just 10% of the applications within a 6-month window. Tens of thousands of Labor Certification applications remain in limbo.
The rule is clear. Flout the law at your own risk. These are tough economic times and or the Obama Administration needs to garner some credibility in the immigration context. Therefore, it seems that more enforcement and more review are going to be the order of the day. Employers had better watch out!
About the author:
I practice in the areas of immigration and small business law in Akron, Ohio. In addition to my law practice, I am also an adjunct (part-time) professor of immigration law at the University of Akron, School of Law (“Akron Law”). My busy and challenging immigration practice comprises cases from all areas of immigration including family, business, and student visas, employment, H-1b, Labor Certification, PERM, O-1, L-1, EB-1 and EB-2, as well as more specialized areas of practice such as asylum, deportation, removal, and federal and state court litigation. I work from the beginning to end of complex applications involving spouses of US Citizens and their immediate family. I am especially proud to represent clients in fiancé, marriage, and citizenship cases and bring their families to the USA. Likewise, I defend clients vigorously in deportation or removal cases and work hard to win their “green cards”. For your regular reference please bookmark my blog – The Law Offices of Farhad Sethna. Please give us your feedback and let us know if the information we presented was helpful.