H-1B Fraud – Red Flags for the USCIS

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

As a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in July 2010 against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) finally released several documents that reveal the various fraud indicators USCIS uses when reviewing H-1B applications. These documents may be accessed on the Legal Action Center’s website.

Under what’s known as the 10/25/10 formula, USCIS’s fraud indicators include petitioners that have:

(1) a gross annual income of less than $10 million;
(2) fewer than 25 employees; and
(3) been in business for fewer than 10 years.

These peitioners are presumed to be more susceptible to fraud. Where these factors exist, USCIS directs adjudicators to review them “with an awareness of the heightened possibility for fraud and/or technical violations” and refer them for “further scrutiny.”

Other fraud indicators include:

  • petitioners making multiple H-1B filings that appear inconsistent with the company size (e.g. if the company filed 100 petitions last year but only has 10 employees on staff);
  • petitioners submit contracts for consultants or staffing agencies but show no specific end clients for which H-1B work would be performed;
  • petitioners have left an excessive amount of blanks or information incompleted in the H-1B application forms;
  • petitioners are not paying the stated wages in the H-1B petitions (e.g. there is a discrepancy between the stated wage in the H-1B petition versus the petitioner’s State Quarterly Wage Report);
  • IT petitioners do not have a website;
  • petitioners submit documents that appear counterfeit, boilerplate or having been altered;
  • more factors that can be viewed here.

This lawsuit is part of the continued effort to increase transparency and promote accountability regarding DHS enforcement practices.  For more information, visit LAC’s website.


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