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The H-1B Visa Blog by Siliato and Malyk

More H-1B Hurdles for IT Consulting Companies

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Consistent with the current culture of USCIS adjudications, H-1B employers who provide IT consulting and staffing services are faced with yet one more obstacle to navigate.  In accordance with H-1B regulations (8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(B)), a petition that requires services to be performed in more than one location must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of the services. USCIS has now seized upon this regulatory requirement and has taken it many steps further.


Almost without exception, if not submitted with the original petition, a letter must be secured from the entity or entities with which Petitioner contracts, describing in some detail a description and nature of the contracted employment.  Specifically, USCIS is not only requesting an itinerary with dates and locations and the name of each work site where the beneficiary's services will be delivered, but also the name of the project(s) to which the beneficiary is assigned and whether the work site has the ability to assign the beneficiary to a different employer.  Each letter must provide the address and telephone number where a contact can be reached and include the title and duties of the beneficiary's position, the minimum education requirement for the contracted position, and the name and title of the person who primarily supervises or will supervise the beneficiary at the work site.  According to a typical RFE issued by USCIS for such a case, "such information is necessary to determine whether the actual duties to be performed under contract for an end client are duties associated with the specialty occupation sought".


For each of the beneficiary's work assignments, USCIS is also requesting evidence of any contracts and related work orders, identifying the succession of consulting or staffing businesses involved in the assignment of the beneficiary to each ultimate work location. Such contracts and related work orders must provide the address and telephone number where a contact can be reached and all contracts must be executed.


As a result of USCIS' position, to avoid an almost certain RFE, it is incumbent to supply the requested information with the filing of the original H-1B petition. As such, companies that regularly utilize H-1B contract workers are faced with a choice: whether to provide the requested letter and copy of relevant contracts and work orders to the H-1B employer or potentially lose the benefit of the contract workers' services.


For additional information and frequent updates on a variety of employment-based immigration law issues, please click here to navigate to Meyner and Landis LLP's Corporate Immigration Law News Blog.


Post Authored By: Anthony F. Siliato, Esq. of Meyner and Landis LLP

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Comments

  1. Bhaskar's Avatar
    The crackdown of H1B bodyshops or IT consulting companies
    was long over due. I was on H1B till I finally called it quits and left for Canada. I experienced first hand the abuses by employers and would like to see the end of abuses. Finally I see US govt doing something to help potential employees
    from falling into the H1B - Greencard backlog trap.

  2. R. Lawson's Avatar
    Good news. IT consulting companies are the worst of the offenders - and further more don't deserve access to the program.

    In most cases, you can't guarantee that an H-1b IT consultant isn't replacing a qualified American worker because most consultants work on several projects a year with multiple clients. And there has been no effort to verify wages. Also, you usually don't know what the next project will be, since the contract probably hasn't been signed yet.

    Staffing firms, calling themselves "consulting firms" or not, are either body shops or glorified body shops. At the end of the day they are selling labor to an outside party and have commoditized the IT staffing/consulting market.

    "USCIS has now seized upon this regulatory requirement and has taken it many steps further"

    You mean there was a regulation that wasn't being enforced by the USCIS? Wow - I just can't believe that. I thought this program was on the up and up... (not).
  3. Green Card Visa's Avatar
    It's funny how the government can add and subtract stipulations, then act as if they are doing a good job by enforcing the new legislation. Rather than try their hardest to make the process as difficult as possible, wouldn't it make more sense for them to fix and streamline it? It seems to me that these little power trips just drag down the entire process and make everyone suffer, all for no real benefit.
  4. grant for insulation's Avatar
    letter must provide the address and telephone number where a contact can be reached and include the title and duties of the beneficiary's position, the minimum education requirement for the contracted position, and the name and title of the person who primarily supervises or will supervise the beneficiary at the work site.
  5. green card visa's Avatar
    I think that it is an unproductive policy for the USCIS to make skilled workers jump through such hoops. These workers add value to the united states economy by making actual innovations. These innovations in turn create more jobs than they "cost."
  6. Term papers's Avatar

    Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.
  7. Georges's Avatar
    technically if I, a legal reisdent [in the eyes of the IRS] of Texas were to send say, $2000 to India I would be hit by a transaction tax of $200 whereas my next door neighbor sends $6000 to London, he would pay the normal wire transfer rates? Link : policywise.net //Desi Pundit
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