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Compliance Issues for H-1B Employers in a Bad Economy

Disclaimer: This is just for education and information and is not meant to be any form of legal advise. Please call up your Immigration attorney or Ms. Sunita Kapoor for more information.

With the Downturn of IT due to the economy turmoil and critical H-1B investigations and immigration raids around the country, it is suggested that it is worth spending some of the slow time in self auditing your files for compliance and reviewing the current workforce to adapt to the needs.

If you are facing reduction in work and the bench period is being extended, you must take appropriate measures. If the change in business is temporary and you expect your business to pick up in few months, it is not good to lay off your employees. One of the options to retain your good employees without hurting their immigration status and also to reduce your burden of payroll is to amend the previously approved H-1B for part time or flexible hours H-1B. This creates benefits for both employer and the employee. The employee is able to maintain his status and able to look for another part or full time job if needed. Or he uses his time to wind up his affairs in US such as dependents’ education, job, selling cars or other property. On the other hand the employer is able to retain his workforce until the economy improves.

Here are the few reminders for employers to stay in compliance.

1. Must pay your H-1B workers for Bench time.

2. Must have approved LCA for each location H-1B worker is placed at and must satisfy the posting requrements.

3. Must have written documentation that your H-1B worker’s actual employment location(Client site) did not displace US workers( if had layoffs), or had strike or lockout.

4. Must pay H-1B employee return transportation to his country if his employment is terminated.

5. Must amend H-1B petition if there are material changes in employment terms and conditions such as decrease in hours, salary and benefits, change in job duties or employment location.

6. Must notify USCIS  to revoke the petition if H-1B employment terminated/laid off.

Feel free to contact Ms. Sunita Kapoor (website) to consult on any of the issues regarding compliance or amendment of H-1Bs.