A H-1B visa is a visa is a visa which permits a worker in a professional occupation to work for an employer in the United States. It is a temporary visa and only 65,000 are issued in a year. There are far more applicants than there are visas. The H-1B visa is quite controversial because proponents claim that there are not enough visas to bring in needed professionals to work in the United States. Opponents of H-1B visas claim that the workers are taking jobs away from people already in the United States.
In September 2008, United States and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a report entitled, “H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment.” This report summarized USCIS’ review of 246 cases drawn from a total population of 96,827 approved, denied, or pending petitions filed between October 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006. USCIS found fraud in 13.4% of the cases or in 33 cases. Examples of fraud were that the company did not exist, educational degrees were fraudulent, signatures had been forged and/or the employee was performing duties significantly different that stated in the petition. There were technical violations in 7.3% of the cases or in 18 cases. Technical violations included among others, an employee working at a job location not listed on the petition and/or employees not being paid the prevailing wage.
USCIS found the highest levels of fraud to be in small companies (25 or fewer employees). firms in existence for less than 10 years and petitions that were filed for occupations such as accounting, human resources, business analysts, sales and advertising positions.
USCIS found the overall 21% fraud and technical violation rate to be unacceptable and indicated that they would make some procedural changes which would be announced in a forthcoming document.