USCIS toughens norms for H-1B petition involving third-party worksite
The USCIS has announced a new visa policy memo that would make the procedures of issuing
H-1B visa tougher for employees who will work at one or more third-party worksites. The new policy, published and took immediate effect on February 22, 2018, aligns with Buy American and Hire American Executive Order and aims at actively narrowing the misuse of H-1B visas.
The policy is expected to increase administrative requirements for employers who assign H-1B visa holders to third-party worksites. Employers are now mandatorily required to submit additional evidence demonstrating that the H-1B holder will be employed in a specialty occupation and that the employer will maintain an employer-employee relationship for the duration of the requested validity period.
H-1B employers who previously met the preponderance of the evidence standard must now work closely with legal counsel to ensure that the increased scrutiny is met.
The H-1B landscape is changing. Employers must be prepared for the increased scrutiny, more detailed Requests for Evidence and an increase in denials coming from USCIS and should adapt their practices to meet the new standard.
1. Comprehensive contractual agreements and third-party placement documentation:
2. Detailed itineraries for all H-1B employees who will work in more than one location.
3. USCIS will limit the validity of H-1B based on the duration of service to be performed to the end-client
4. Aftermath of not complying with the terms and conditions of the original petition can lead to a denial of the extension of stay.
5. Pending third-party worksite H-1B petitions likely to be bound by new policy.