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Legal Updates & Alerts

U.S. Department of Labor to Increase Enforcement of H-1B and Other Visa Programs

June 9, 2017
By Turid Owren and Alan Perkins

On June 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will increase activities to combat fraud and abuse in employment-based visa programs. This will include not only H-1B visas, but other types of nonimmigrant visas, such as the H-2B seasonal worker program.
 
U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has directed DOL to "enforce vigorously" all laws within DOL's jurisdiction, and to take the following specific steps associated with such nonimmigrant visa programs:
 
  1. Propose changes to DOL's Labor Condition Application (LCA) used for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas;
  2. Conduct civil investigations to enforce labor protections through the Wage and Hour Division;
  3. Review DOL's investigatory forms to identify ways to better detect fraud and abuse;
  4. Provide greater transparency to U.S. workers; and
  5. Increase government coordination of investigations and enforcement activities for greater effectiveness and efficiency. 

Employers should ensure that their practices related to employment of nonimmigrant visa holders are fully compliant. This includes review of public access files, document retention measures, required wage payments, and other legal requirements.
 
This client alert is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys in our Business Immigration practice group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.