USCIS Makes H1-B Program More Transparent
The United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) in an attempt to make all functioning around the controversial H1-B non-immigrant, work visa transparent and continue to manage the program better for employers, U.S. workers and the public at large, is bringing about some additions to their administration. So that everyone involved has access to information and all data related to H1-B visa, they have either accelerated some exercises or brought in new ones. These are:
Expanding site visits:
The Fraud Detection and National Security unit of USCIS makes unannounced site visits to offices that employ foreign workers. This is to ensure that no one is abusing the H1-B program and all such employees are doing what they were hired to do per their visa petition. This is going to be conducted more frequently and hires scrutinized more fervently. Going forward, these site visits will be conducted even before an underlying petition filed on behalf of a sponsored employee is adjudicated. Any violations will result in revocation of the approved H1-B visa.
H1-B Data Hub:
Starting April 1, 2019 USCIS will host a new data hub encompassing all information pertaining to H1-B petitioners, their employers and area of employment. The public can now access and evaluate approval and denial rates, name of employers recruiting H1-B visa holders, and identify their demographic distribution based on fiscal year of employment, company name, city, state and or zip code.
All employers sponsoring H1-B work visas have to provide a publicly available notice that includes information covering wages, job duties, locations of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) employers must file with DOL for inspection and how to lodge H-1B-related complaints with DOL. This can either be paper notices put up in a visible place of work or provided electronically to all employees. If this is not complied with, the said employer can be disqualified from sponsoring any foreign national for employment in the US for a year.
With transparency as their main goal, USCIS is determined to bring all H1-B related operations to the open and allow the public to view, analyze and infer results from the information provided. Will they succeed in doing this or will the access to this data create further chaos is yet to be determined. Stay tuned to this space to find out!