Effective 22nd February 2018, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued a memorandum with new guidance on H-1B petitions for employees working at third-party worksites.
What has changed?
The guidance requires petitioners to demonstrate that, where a third-party worksite is involved, for the duration of the requested validity period:
- The beneficiary will be involved in a specialty occupation; and
- The employer will maintain an employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary.
The guidance also requires petitioning employers to provide documentary evidence of specific work assignments in a specialty occupation, such as statements of work, contracts, letters from each end-client company, and evidence of actual work.
The memorandum reiterates the regulatory requirement for the petitioner to provide itineraries that include the dates and locations of the services to be provided.
Finally, USCIS states that H-1B extension applications involving third-party worksites must demonstrate that all of the above requirements were met throughout the previous approval period.
What is the H-1B Visa?
H-1B visas are the most common temporary work permits available to foreign national professionals. They are obtained routinely by US businesses that require foreign professional workers possessing at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a particular field.
An H-1B employer must also attest to paying the same salary and benefits packages normally offered to US workers in similar positions and to observing the H-1B program’s specific public notice and recordkeeping requirements.
Employers should be prepared for increased scrutiny from USCIS on H-1B petitions for employees working at third-party worksites.
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