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Senators ask for details on reported abuse of H1B and L1 visas
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Due to some concerns raised over reported fraud and abuse of the H-1B and L visa programs, and their impact on American workers, Senators Chuck Grassley and Richard Durbin have asked the top nine foreign based companies in 2006 that used nearly 20,000 of the available H-1B visas, to disclose further details about their workforce and their use of the special visa program.

In the words of Mr. Grassley, “More and more it appears that companies are using H-1B visas to displace qualified, American workers.” He had also added, “Now, as we move closer to debate on an immigration bill, I continue to hear how people want to increase the number of H-1B visas that are available to companies. Considering the high amount of fraud and abuse in the visa program, we need to take a good, hard look at the employers who are using H-1B visas and how they are using them.”

Mr. Durbin was of the view that the American jobs were being outsourced to other countries. “Supporters claim the goal of the H-1B program is to help the American economy by allowing companies to hire needed foreign workers. The reality is that too many H-1B visas are being used to facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries,” Durbin said. “We have to look at the system that generates these visas and the way they are used. This legislation will help protect American workers first by stopping H-1Bs from being exploited and used as outsourcing visas.”

The letters are part of an effort to determine if the H-1B program is being used for its intended purpose which is to fill a worker shortage for a temporary time period.

Queries put forward in the letter were subjected to certain findings:
  • Some groups, such as the Programmers Guild, have analyzed the wages paid to H-1B visa holders. They have found that the average annual salary of foreign workers is significantly lower than that of new graduates.

  • Second, a number of consulting firms reportedly recruit foreign workers and then outsource the individuals to other job sites or companies. Many of the top 20 companies that used H-1B visas in 2006 are firms that specialize in offshore outsourcing.

  • Third, a number of firms have allegedly put off American workers while continuing to employ H-1B visa holders. The American people are concerned about such lay offs at a time when the demand for visa issuances and the recruitment of foreign workers appear to be increasing.
Mr. Durbin said that he expects that the companies would cooperate and answer his questions to ensure that accurate information is being used as Congress continues debate on new immigration policy.

Grassley and Durbin recently introduced legislation that would overhaul the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to give priority to American workers and crack down on unscrupulous employers who deprive qualified Americans of high-skill jobs.

This shows that the scrutiny on the usage of work visas by the U.S. Companies is not going away anytime soon. Hence, we advise companies to carefully develop their strategies in utilizing the U.S. visas, and maintain full compliance. This will help avoid potential damages that may arise from any legislation that Congress may pass in the future.

VisaPro attorneys take all the necessary measures to keep Companies compliant with U.S. immigration regulations while handling the work visa matters.


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