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Labor Department Releases Proposed Changes for H-1B Third-Party Placements

build-builder-carry-585419-300x200The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a list of proposed changes to ETA Form-9035, also known as the Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA), which could place added burdens on companies that hire and place migrant workers with H-1B visas (a program under the Immigration and Nationality Act.)

Under the current policies, petitioning employers are only required to note the addresses of end-user clients’ worksites they intend to place H-1B workers in. On the other hand, details such as the names of the clients associated with these worksites are unnecessary to the petition process.

The DOL’s proposed changes, however, expand the information requirements to include:

  • Details pertaining to the end-user client
  • Worksites the H-1B petitioners intend to place foreign workers in

These changes pose an added burden to employers looking to hire nonimmigrant workers through the H-1B petition process. The DOL proposal also requires prospective H-1B employers to disclose the legal business names of clients and companies whose worksites they intend to place foreign H-1B workers in.

Another addition to the reporting requirements expected of employers is the identification of worksites the DOL sees as having a “reasonable expectation of placement,” on top of information on the worksites known and listed.

The added hurdles to the H-1B petition process go beyond information requirements, with the DOL expecting a drastic increase in the time needed to process each petition—proportional to the amount of information that now needs to be verified.

Observers have commented on the DOL’s referral to end-user clients as “secondary employers,” explaining that the term suggests the existence of an employer-employee relationship. The DOL has since amended the language, now using the term “secondary entity” in its stead. Another point of concern is the potential breach of privacy in disclosing the legal names of entities protected by confidentiality agreements—something the DOL declined to comment on.

The Trump administration has proposed several other changes seemingly targeting third-party worksites. One among many is a policy shift at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to prohibit foreign students from working at such worksites.

The Labor Department defended its recent proposal and several other policy amendments targeting third-party worksites, explaining that requiring additional information is a means to protect H-1B employees as well as U.S. workers. The revisions, they claim, are intended to improve transparency about the number of H-1B employees being assigned to worksites and the organizations with which these workers will be placed.

If you want to learn more about the H-1B visa program, or want assistance with applying for a visa with your employer, the Lyttle Law Firm is ready to help. Schedule a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle for a full review of your credentials.