In yet another action that underscores the Trump Administration’s vow to crack down on alleged employer abuse of so-called H-1B visas, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new Policy Memorandum to agency personnel calling for greater scrutiny with respect to H-1B petitions for foreign worker beneficiaries who will be employed at third party sites.
H-1B visas are issued to foreign workers in “specialty occupations” that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, most commonly in computing, science, math, and engineering fields. Critics of the H-1B program, led by President Trump, who has referred to it as “a cheap labor program” and vowed to reform it, argue that some companies use the visas to undercut salaries by using foreign workers over qualified U.S. workers.
During the last year the Trump Administration has taken a number of actions aimed at curbing abuse of the H-1B program, including an Executive Order directing federal departments to crack down on H-1B visa fraud and abuse; (2) “more targeted” site visits by USCIS to the workplaces of H-1B-heavy employers; (3) the temporary suspension of “expedited processing;” and (4) increased focus by the Justice and Labor Departments on protecting American workers from H-1B related discrimination.
A copy of the new USCIS Policy Memo is available here.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.