September 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 264

September 18, 2020

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H-1B Update: Administration to Increase Scrutiny, Investigations

Employers need to ready themselves for investigations from the Department of Labor (DOL) into the use of H-1B visas.

Without Congressional oversight or legislative changes, the Trump Administration has changed the policies for H-1Bs, resulting in the highest denial rate in history of this legal immigration program. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic national emergency, the Administration has issued a number of executive changes further restricting immigration, including a Presidential Proclamation restricting the entry of foreign nationals in H-1B status (among others) until at least the end of 2020.

Most recently, in conjunction with that Presidential Proclamation, USCIS and DOL have entered into an agreement to further share data so that DOL can conduct “more robust examinations” of employers’ H-1B usage. According to a DOL press release, “No previous Secretary of Labor has ever exercised this authority.”

In the past, USCIS has conducted unannounced worksite visits to ensure H-1B compliance. With DOL stepping into this new role, employers likely will see additional investigations and penalties for violations, including awards of back pay for wage errors. The added risks for businesses come as many of them continue to argue that making it harder to hire H-1B workers only harms the economy and does nothing to promote economic recovery.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 216


About this Author

Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

(402) 391-1991
Michael H. Neifach, Jackson Lewis, Employment visa Lawyer, border security matters attorney

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw the Immigration, Compliance, and Homeland Security practice at a boutique immigration law firm until joining Jackson Lewis.

(703) 483-8300