Increased Scrutiny Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse


By: Agne Krutules

As thousands of the H-1B visa program application were filed on April 3, 2017, for the lottery for fiscal year 2018, the USCIS announced that it is implementing multiple measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. Echoing President Trump’s campaign promises to put the American workers first, the USCIS stated that while the H-1B visa program should help U.S. employers recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals, when there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers, it oftentimes hurts “too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields.” The USCIS announced that its priority is to combat fraud in employment-based immigration programs. In unveiling its “more targeted approach” to deter such fraud, the USCIS stated that when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees, it will primarily focus on:

  • Instances where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;
  • H-1B-dependent employers, i.e., employers that have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers; and
  • Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

According to the USCIS, these “targeted site visits” will allow it to focus its resources where fraud and abuse are likely to be prevalent. These visits will be random and unannounced nationwide. In addition, USCIS has established an email address, where individuals (American and H-1B workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) could submit tips, alleged violations, and other relevant information about the employers. The obtained information will be used for investigations and referrals to law enforcement agencies for potential prosecution. This measure could potentially subject any employer across the country to random inspections, as disgruntled employees could make accusations without any concrete evidence of H-1B fraud or abuse.

For any questions, please contact Agne Krutules at