H-1B Employers: Have Your H-1B Public Access File Ready For The USCIS Audit
This year, employers not only have heard from ICE on I-9 audits, but USICS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has been busy auditing employers specifically with regard to H-1B-related issues. USCIS claims that over 20% of H-1B employers violate terms of H-1B employment. In 2009, the agency launched the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program, which includes random on-site inspections of H-1B employers. H-1B employers should be ready for an unexpected visit from USCIS. This is how to prepare:
Proper H-1B process includes preparing an H-1B Public Access File as the LCA is filed [corrected Ed. 08/24/09] and updating it if there are changes in the H-1B employment.
Prepare H-1B Public Access File Before Employment Begins
Employers should prepare documents for a H-1B Public Access File as soon as the H-1B is approved, and in all cases, before the H-1B employment begins. At a minimum, I advise my clients to include the following information into the Public Access File as soon as the LCA is filed [corrected Ed. 08/24/09] :
Update Your Public Access File
Changes in the wage, location, corporate changes affecting who the employer of the H-1B worker is, and other material changes in the conditions of the H-1B employment need to be reflected in the Public Access file. I usually advise my corporate clients to let me know without delay if such changes occur so that we can prepare appropriate documents for the H-1B file, or file a new Labor Condition Application, file an amendment to the H-1B visa, or a new H-1B visa petition, which in turn, triggers an obligation to prepare a new pubic access file.
Create Public Access File ASAP
If you do not have an H-1B Public Access File in place, it is time for you to put together a solid Public Access File. Once the file is prepared, you are ready to deal with USCIS on H-1B related issues. I am not going to spend a lot of time on stating the obvious, which is one they come, it is a bit late to worry about putting together the Public Access File.
© Mira Mdivani
Mira Mdivani, Esq. practices immigration law with the Mdivani Law Firm in Overland Park, KS. Mira is an expert in employer immigration compliance plans, I-9 audits, and other business immigration issues. Her articles on the issues can be found on www.uslegalimmigration.com
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.