Earlier this year, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a plan that aims to combat fraud in the H-1B visa program. An H-1B visa is for foreign nationals who have been labeled “highly-skilled” in the arts, technology, education, business, entertainment, athletics, and other fields. However, the U.S. government has suspected that there are flaws in the system that results in the victimization of both American workers and H-1B workers.

Though much of the initiative aims to protect the jobs of American workers and encourages employers to make sure citizens are given an opportunity, there are also protections for H-1B worker victims. In the event that an H-1B worker believes their employer is participating in the abuse of the H-1B visa program, there are protections under immigration law that can assist them. For example, if an H-1B worker applies to change their nonimmigrant status and wishes to become a permanent resident or reports their employer for violating the H-1B rules, they may be able to extend or change their status under the clause of “extraordinary circumstances.” If an H-1B visa worker can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances, they may be eligible to keep, extend, or change their H1-B status.

The USCIS will be conducting site visits to determine whether H-1B workers are being paid while they wait for work. In addition, they will be determining whether employers are allowing H-1B employees to work at the intended location, as opposed to at another company or organization.

If you believe your employer is committing fraud against H-1B visa employees, contact an experienced immigration law attorney who can provide you with assistance.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.