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Increasing Immigration Scrutiny: New Variations

22. Nov. 2019

New ways of scrutinizing immigration-related applications and petitions continue to sprout up.  This article covers the new ways scrutiny has been applied over the past three months.

H-1B for 3rd Party Worksite Employees

USCIS has started emailing end-clients to verify the authenticity of end-client letters submitted by H-1B petitioners.  End-client letters are often submitted to prove valid employer-employee relationship exists between the H-1B employer and H-1B employee (i.e., the employee is not controlled by the end client), as well as to prove the actual duties at the client site (“specialty occupation” duties), the worksite, and the duration of the project.

I-140 for 3rd Party Worksite Employees

For I-140 cases in which the beneficiary may work at locations other than the employer’s office (e.g., client site), USCIS recently began sending Requests For Evidence (RFE) asking employers to “clarify the terms of the labor certification (PERM) and demonstrate the petitioner’s intent regarding the offered position.”  These new RFEs ask the following questions:

  • Will the petitioner supervise? Is supervision offsite or onsite?
  • Does the petitioner have the right to control the work of the beneficiary?
  • Does the beneficiary provide equipment, supplies and accessories required by the beneficiary?
  • Does the petitioner have authority to terminate and conduct performance reviews?
  • Are the beneficiary’s benefits provided by the petitioner?

I-140 Ability to Pay

For an employer that filed I-140s for multiple beneficiaries, USCIS recently asked for evidence that the employer has the ability to pay the salaries of all beneficiaries.  This RFE asked the employer to provide:

  • List of all I-140 receipt numbers filed of which the beneficiary is not yet a legal permanent resident (green card holder).
  • Evidence the company has been paying the offered wage to each beneficiary.

Visa Application (Stamping) at U.S. Embassies and Consulates

A first time H-1B visa applicant who used to be in F-1 status was told his visa application will be delayed until the consular officer can verify that he maintained valid F-1 status (but no additional documentation was requested by the consular officer). 

In another case, the employer of a H-1B visa applicant received an email from the state department asking for confirmation of: office address, how long at that address, if there is a lease, who owns the property, and the property manager's name and contact info.