Over 5,000 Complaints of H-1B Visa Fraud Received by U.S Federal Agency, Says Official
The Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate gets information about suspected H-1B and H-2B fraud or abuse via the email addresses set up for this purpose.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received over 5,000 complaints of H-1B visa fraud and abuse so far on the email helpline that was launched by the Trump administration last year, a federal agency official told PTI. The H-1B visa is the most popular visa among Indian IT professionals.
“As of May 21, 2018, the USCIS has received over 5,000 tips to the dedicated H-1B email address,” Philip Smith, a spokesperson for the USCIS, was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The USCIS did not reveal the nature of the complaints, the companies involved or who were the victims of the H-1B visa fraud and abuse.
When U.S. President Donald Trump signed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order in 2017, email addresses were set up by the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) for getting information about suspected H-1B and H-2B fraud or abuse.
The FDNS leads the way when it comes to USCIS’s efforts to combat immigration benefit fraud.
“Anyone (including both American workers and workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B or H-2B fraud or abuse) can email ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov or ReportH2BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov to submit tips, alleged violations, and other relevant information about potential fraud or abuse,” Smith said, according to the report.
He added: “Pursuant to the Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, FDNS has helped the agency investigate the H-1B program to protect American workers.”
In April last year, the USCIS and FDNS set up the Targeted Site Visit and Verification Program to enhance the immigration benefit process.
“This targeted approach focuses on H-1B dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S workers, as defined by statute); Cases that we cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data; and employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location,” Smith said.
The FDNS officers look into background check information and other concerns that come up when the immigration benefit applications and petitions are being processed. The resolution of this involves communication with law enforcement or intelligence agencies to see if the information that is relevant to applicant or petitioner would have an impact on the eligibility of the benefit. The officer also verify the information provided to them with USCIS databases and public information.
FDNS uses the Fraud Detection and National Security Data System (FDNS-DS) to identify fraud and track potential patterns, Smith said.
The USCIS has formed a partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to which FDNS pursues administrative inquiries into most application and petition fraud, while ICE conducts criminal investigations into major fraud conspiracies.