» USCIS Increases Site Visits and Audits for H-1B Workers

USCIS Increases Site Visits and Audits for H-1B Workers

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 3, 2011 - Businesses that hire H-1B specialty occupation visa workers should be mindful of an increase in audits by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS has its inspectors go on-site to these businesses and also audits I-9 forms for compliance. Non-compliant employers will face penalties, so it is recommended to get legal counsel involved early on to ensure a business’s hiring and documentation processes are done correctly.

The USCIS Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program can check any business in any industry to verify that they are not employing undocumented workers. They also want to check that the company is a true operating business and the foreign worker is employed in the capacity listed on the paperwork. If an issue does come up during the audit, the USCIS gives notice to the business and the company can then respond to the charges before a petition is denied, revoked, or the company is assessed a penalty.

“Businesses are better off if they seek an immigration attorney at the initial stages,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Many U.S. businesses reach out to foreign workers for their technical or theoretical expertise. Getting an immigration attorney early on as a business sponsors an individual will make a company more compliant with the increase of paperwork and documentation.”

The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee recommends that employers set up their foreign hiring practices for success by designating a human resources manager to be the go-to person for foreign new hires. This manager should keep copies of all documents – passports, notices from USCIS, I-94 forms – for each new hire. This file should also have information on the business’ sponsorship, including the prevailing wage figures and compensation system, labor condition application, and complete I-129 and 129 supplement forms.

“A contact person is very important so that if a site visit or audit occurs, the business is prepared to show they are compliant,” said Banerjee, who has more than 10 years of experience in immigration law.

Documents on the foreign new hire should be kept for one year after their last date of employment. When inspectors come to a business, they will want to confirm the H-1B employee’s work history, job title, salary and oftentimes will inspect payroll records. The USCIS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, can assess a penalty of $110 for every paperwork violation up to $16,000 per each unauthorized worker.

Banerjee cautions that filling out the forms and hiring foreign workers should not be taken lightly. Thousands of businesses are audited each year and some human resources and business managers simply did not take the time to fill out the I-9 forms correctly. The USCIS has a 60-page handbook for employers on the subject to fill it out thoroughly.

The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee counsels biotech, IT, oil and gas, and multinational manufacturing companies throughout Houston and Texas. Houston immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee also helps small businesses and assists family members of H-1B applicants, too. Her expertise will help expedite the application, so the best chances for approval before the H-1B cap is reached can be met. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.

Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139

  • US Citizenship
    Today the United States Constitution was signed into existence by our Founding Fathers. Thus Sept 17 is celebrated at Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. But what does American Citizenship mean? American Citizenship, like citizenship in most countries is a bunch of rights and obligations, derived from the Constitution to people who are subject to the [...]
  • Entrepreneurs Visa
    In 2014, President Obama issued an Executive order making it easy for Entrepreneurs to get visas. However until this past Friday, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (hereinafter CIS) did not issue any guidance as to how this could be achieved. For instance, a computer science major foreign student, studying in the USA, might come up [...]
  • When Natural Disasters happen
    The Government works with deadlines. Unlike State Court where lawyers can argue that they are not ready and reset the date of their hearing, we attorneys working with federal agencies have to such leverage. We are given an audit notice by the Department of Labor, and we have to answer in 20 days. No matter [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required