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Posts Tagged ‘Neufeld Memo’

H-1B Visa: USCIS Revises FAQs on Employer-Employee Relationship for 3rd Party Placements

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

On March 12, 2012 USCIS revised the FAQs that reference the Jan 8, 2010 Donald Neufeld Memo that relates to the employer-employee relationship in adjudicating H-1B Petitions for 3rd Party Jobsite Placements. This topic is still very complex and greatly impacts the IT, healthcare and staffing agency industries in their ability to file for H-1B visa petitions on behalf of foreign professionals.  We link above to this updated guidance, and  remind you that our office is available to assist you with your H-1B case filings as it relates to these and other industries. If you have any questions pertaining to this topic or any other matter, please contact us.

H-1B’s and Third-Party Jobsite Locations Update

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

At the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 09/2010 Stakeholder Conference, the Vermont Service Center (VSC) advised that if compliance issues arose during the previous H-1B approval period, VSC could request evidence of all work performed during the previous H-1B approval period on requests for extension cases. VSC also confirmed that they are issuing one-year approvals where third-party work assignment is documented for less than one-year.

In light of the increase in RFEs focused on the employer-employee relationship, right to control, and availability of “qualifying employment” at third-party worksites, it is suggested that the following practice pointers be utilized in order to maximize the likelihood of securing a three-year H-1B extension for petitions involving placement at third-party worksites:

  1. Submit a certified labor condition application (LCA) that lists multiple work locations, including the Petitioner’s home office address, as well as the third-party worksite location(s);
  2. Document “qualifying employment” for the Beneficiary at the third-party worksite through End-Client letters confirming a project duration of longer than a year, preferably for the entire three years if the requested validity is three years;
  3. End-Client letters should specify the job duties for the Beneficiary at the worksite, duration of the project, supervisor’s name, and supervisor’s telephone number. It is critical to establish that the Beneficiary is an employee of the Petitioner and that the Petitioner retains the ultimate “right to control” the Beneficiary;
  4. Provide evidence of “qualifying employment,” such as: contracts, statement of work, work order between Petitioner and End-Client (if there are intermediate vendors involved, offer the entire chain of contracts between the Petitioner and End-Client); and
  5. Submit Employee Handbooks as evidence of “Employer-Employee relationship” and “right to control.” Petitioner’s Employee Handbook should include issues such as salary, benefits, payroll procedures, performance evaluations, project progress review procedures, supervision of beneficiary’s work, right to hire/fire, etc. All of the previous stated items for the Petitioner’s Employee Handbook are requirements identified in the January 8, 2010, Neufeld Memo (AILA Doc. No. 10011363).

Immigration Solutions is available to assist you with with your H-1B case filings. Please contact us here

USCIS Announces 2nd Mtg on the Neufeld Memo 3/26/10

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

We have been advised that USCIS will hold a 2nd in-person and teleconferenced meeting on the above topic on Friday, March 26th at 3:00 (Eastern). We link to a copy of the Meeting Invitation that contains the RSVP information.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) sent a letter to USCIS, requesting that the January 8th “Neufeld memo” on the “employer-employee relationship” be withdrawn listing four key problems.

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Here’s an update with some new developments in re the H-1B Memo:

1. The memo is a new policy that is inconsistent with current regulations: The regulations already define “employer” for H-1B context and indicates control when the employer “may hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of any such employee.” The Memo adds additional requirements beyond what the regulations state.

2. The position taken by USCIS imposes significant economic burdens on business, at a time when the government should be trying to encourage business growth, in that employers will be required to spend considerable time and money gathering additional evidence to file their H-1B petitions and/or respond to RFE’s. Also, AILA pointed to several studies of the positive economic impact of H-1B employment, including a study that found that “U.S. technology companies increase their employment by an average of five U.S. workers for each H-1B worker they hire.”

3. The memo will have serious adverse affects on employers and individuals: AILA pointed to state restrictions on physicians being employed directly by hospitals and to locum tenens and other temporary staffing arrangements in the health care arena (including therapists) where it will be difficult to satisfy the new standards of the memo. AILA also pointed to government contracts as not being able to meet the standards. The memo will also negatively affect H-1B workers who change employers or extend status, and may have adverse effects on permanent residence petitions. AILA noted that it is not just the H-1B petitioner and the H-1B visa holder that are impacted — the end-users are also affected as they may experience a disruption in work for an H-1B worker that is not able to timely extend status or when additional staffing is needed.

4. The policy is spreading to other non-immigrant and immigrant petitions: AILA noted that USCIS has been adjudicating L-1 petitions and I-140 petitions based upon this new, heightened standard of the employer-employee relationship.

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For those of you who might have missed the Immigration Solutions teleconference that we had on “Tougher Standards for H-1B’s”, you can access the audio recording here.

If you would like to share with us any recent experiences you’ve had or your input as to how this Memo has impacted your business, please feel free to do so.

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Lastly, we are available to assist you with your H-1B filings and have developed some smart approaches as to how to deal with these new regulations and document requirements. Contact us today. If you file your own H-1B cases and require consultation or a skilled attorney to review your petitions, we also offer these services.


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