USCIS Issues Memo Barring Multiple H-1B Filings

USCIS recently released a Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0159) designating Matter of S- Inc. as an adopted decision. In other words, the decision announced by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of S- Inc. is now USCIS policy. So, what happened in that case?  In Matter of S- Inc., the Petitioner, a software development company, was seeking to classify the beneficiary as an H-1B nonimmigrant. However, the Director of the USCIS Vermont Service Center revoked the petition’s approval on notice, concluding the Petitioner and a “related entity,” C-LLC, impermissibly filed petitions for the same beneficiary. According to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(2)(i)(G), an employer is prohibited from filing more than one H-1B petition on behalf of the same alien. In addition, USCIS will deny or revoke the approval of all H-1B cap-subject petitions filed by “related entities” for the same beneficiary if the petitioner fails to demonstrate a legitimate business need to file multiple petitions.  The key issue in Matter of S- Inc. was whether the Petitioner and C-LLC were “related entities” for the purpose of the multiple filings bar. The Petitioner argued that “related entities” only referred to organizations that are related through corporate ownership and control, such as a parent […]
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Premium Processing Resumed for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

Premium processing has been suspended for all H-1B petitions since April 3, 2017. The program was put on hold in an effort to reduce overall H-1B processing times. A high volume of premium processing requests over the past few years put a strain on USCIS making it difficult to process long-pending petitions and to prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases nearing the 240-day mark. On June 26, USCIS announced that premium processing of H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program would be resumed. It also announced plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. Well, processing times must be improving, because on July 24, USCIS announced that it would resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. This means, premium processing will resume, effective immediately, for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is: An institution of higher education; A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or A nonprofit research or governmental research organization. Here is how it will work. Cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form […]
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DOL Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

Shortly after USCIS announced plans last week for increased enforcement efforts against H-1B employers, the U.S. Department of Labor also issued its own news release summarizing how it will help detect H-1B fraud and abuse. The DOL plans to protect U.S. workers from H-1B program discrimination by providing “greater transparency and oversight.” The DOL memo states that the department fully supports the U.S. Department of Justice in cautioning employers who petition for H-1B visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The memo states that the DOL will protect American workers against discrimination through the following actions: Rigorously using all of its existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B program violators. This effort to protect U.S. workers will also involve greater coordination with other federal agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Justice for additional investigation and, if necessary, prosecution. Considering changes to the Labor Condition Application for future application cycles. The Labor Condition Application, which is a required part of the H-1B visa application process, may be updated to provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the […]
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