The South Asian Times

20 January 2019 14:23 PM

USCIS received 5,000 fraud alerts on dedicated H-1B abuse helpline

Washington, DC: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received over 5,000 e-mails reporting alleged H-1B fraud, on a dedicated helpline it launched last year.

“As of May 21, 2018, the USCIS has received over 5,000 tips to the dedicated H-1B email address,” USCIS spokesman Philip Smith told PTI.

After President Donald Trump signed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order last year, in April 2017, USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate created and implemented the Targeted Site Visit and Verification Program, using email addresses dedicated to receiving information about suspected H-1B and H-2B fraud or abuse. FDNS leads USCIS’s efforts to combat immigration benefit fraud.

Anyone (including both American workers and workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B or H-2B fraud or abuse) can email or to submit tips, alleged violations, and other relevant information about potential fraud or abuse, Smith said.

It was unclear how many tips have been investigated by USCIS, and also unclear how many actual instances of fraud the helplines uncovered. USCIS did not provide any details with regard to the nature of complaints, the companies involved nor which country’s high-tech professionals were the victims of H-1B visa fraud and abuse, reported PTI

Smith said the program focuses on H-1B dependent employers — those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers. The agency investigates cases in which the employer’s basic business information cannot be verified through commercially available data. It also investigates employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

FDNS officers also perform checks of USCIS databases and public information, as well as other administrative inquiries, to verify information provided on, and in support of, applications and petitions. Smith told PTI that administrative inquiries may include targeted site visits at work places where fraud is suspected.

Update: 14 June, 2018