The government has revoked the H-1B visas of several skilled foreign workers after an incident involving Virginia-based health care staffing company Comtrix Solutions Inc. The staffing company was set to place the skilled foreign workers in American companies at the time of application but, after six months of waiting, the staffing company clients had to move on to hire other employees, and the foreign workers were left without employment. The government subsequently accused Comtrix Solutions of fraud and revoked the H-1B visas.
This round of revocations is part of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recent crackdown on the use of H-1B visas, as revocations have almost doubled from 7.4% of all petitions in 2017 to 15.5% in 2018. In April, employers submitted 201,011 petitions for 85,000 H-1B visas available starting in October.
President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” 2017 executive order has led to an increase in H-1B investigations and stricter employer policies. As of late, the crackdown has specifically targeted consulting companies.
Additionally, a new policy was rolled out in February of 2018 requiring employers to provide additional documentation, including every contract and work site the worker will be working at, for the entire duration of the H-1B visa.
Attorney Jonathan Wasden has filed a lawsuit disputing the fraud charge against Comtrix Solutions, asserting the situation would only be fraud if the company knew the worker placements were knowingly false at the time the petitions were filed. This case will play an important role in the future of H-1B visas and potential revocations.