New Changes for H-1B Petitions – Employers Take Heed! (Part 2)

Thumbnail image for h1b-visa.jpgA practice advisory published by the Association of International Educators (“NAFSA”) focuses on new H-1B attestations for employers seeking to employ a foreign national as an H-1B worker. This article is the conclusion to part 1 which looks at the proposed new Form I-129H Supplement and Data Collection Supplement in the H-1B context and advises H-1B employers on exactly what the new form means to them. Columbus, Ohio remains strong in H-1B employment chiefly due to its booming tech industry and strong banking and insurance sectors relying on foreign labor to implement new software systems and support existing ones.

Proposed New I-129 H Supplement: New Attestations
The new I-129 H Supplement will add statements that the petitioner will obtain and post a new LCA when the employee is “assigned to a position in a new location.” Employers interested in strict compliance with the H-1B regulations have always done this procedure, but now the form specifically asks that the employer attest to this fact in black and white. What this means for the employer is that it cannot now claim that it was unaware of such requirements. The Obama administration is enforcing the H-1B regulations in a more rigid manner than ever before. Employers need to be aware that if they do not comply, they will be audited, often resulting in huge civil penalties.

In addition, the new H Supplement requires that the employer will not charge back the ACWIA fee to the beneficiary, and will consider any other required reimbursement as “an offset against wages and benefits paid relative to the LCA.” Again, this was always required under the regs; but it is now required up front. If you are an employer and do not know what this means, please contact an experience immigration lawyer to help you understand your rights and obligations under the H-1B regulations.

Proposed New H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement:
In the proposed New H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement, questions are added to determine exemption status regarding the additional fee of $2,000 for H-1B petitions and $2,500 for L petitions. Public Law 111-230 signed into law by President Obama on August 13, 2010 now requires petitioners employing 50 or more employees and more than 50 percent of the petitioner’s employees are H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, or L-2 nonimmigrants (also known as H-1B dependent employers) to pay an additional $2,000 filing fee. Employers have been annotating their H-1B filings with an attestation concerning this requirement while Form I-129 was being amended to include questions that dealt with this requirement. Now the employers will not have to make the additional annotation, but simply must state this fact on the Data Collection Supplement.

How to Contact Us
If you have questions about an H-1B visa or green card matter, and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.