Government Report Documents H-1B Fraud

Ann All

H-1B visa opponents say the system is so broken that it should be fixed before legislators seriously entertain the idea of easing visa limits, a move being promoted by tech companies like Microsoft and Intel and supported by both U.S. presidential candidates. Among their charges: Companies overstate a shortage of qualified personnel so they can hire lower-cost H-1B holders. Indian outsourcing companies receive an inordinately large share of the visas. Some companies outright scam the system.


A new report by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) provides plenty of fodder for the latter claim. According to the report, 13 percent of H-1B applications filed on behalf of employers are fraudulent and another 8 percent contain some kind of technical violations. As I wrote last summer, there is a surprising dearth of solid data on the H-1B program. The USCIS report marks the first time a government agency has documented such systematic problems, notes a BusinessWeek story.


Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology who is frequently interviewed about H-1Bs, says the report shows a "desperate need for an auditing system."


According to BusinessWeek, most of the problems were uncovered during site visits to 246 companies that filed H-1B petitions. Among the issues: visa holders who had never worked at the location given in the application, workers paid below the prevailing wage, and workers performing job duties that were significantly different than those listed on the application. Accounting, human resources, business analyst, sales and advertising were among the occupations most likely to involve fraud, though problems were also documented with managerial and computer-related occupations.


The report hints that USCIS will implement procedural changes to address the problems.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 13, 2008 10:35 AM SeniorD SeniorD  says:
Someone should look at Compuware (CPWR). They seem to be hiring more H1-B visa applicants and then putting them to work in areas other than what the visa stipulates. Reply
Oct 13, 2008 10:54 AM USPatriot USPatriot  says:
IF the H1-B visa applicants are qualified, US companies definitely benefit from the low wages and high productivity, however the quality is not there and time are wasted on training them which in the long run cost the company more than a local hire. What do we call patriotic when we are sending money out of US to countries like China and India, and in return the service and product quality are way below expectation!We should start thinking what went wrong! Reply
Oct 13, 2008 2:11 PM Alex Montalvo Alex Montalvo  says:
You have got to be kidding me! Only NOW there has been some minor acknowledgement of a problem??? I am a IBM certified AS/400 Programmer with 9 Years in the field now preparing for bankruptcy!Allow me to share an email I sent to the President (now gets bounced back as undeliverable) Congress and the Senate. By the way I now am working in the Kosher Deli industry preparing to file for Bancruptcy CH7!! I would like to know how is my filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy good for the economy? It's not good for mine losing my car I need it to find work in NJ CT PA since the Hi Tech H1- L1 Guestworker Visa Program came into being I could forget finding work in NY! Credit card companies charging higher interest rates because you can't pay cost of living and their over inflated bills. I know there are US Government Kick backs to companies in the way of documented $2000 USD per head H1B Grants for every one hired, thereby you talk the talk but fail miserably in the walking department. What do I need to do to get your attention throw a towel on my head and blow my self up? I just want a fair chance for my American Dream. That hypocrite Bill Gates forgets U.S. Citizens built this country not China not India not Pakistan! Lets LOOK out for our own for once! I am not referring to the companies of your interest, but THE POOR and getting POORER AMERICAN PEOPLE! Not one week after Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testified in Congress, various sources are reporting that House leaders intend to bring up legislation that would increase high-skilled foreign worker visas. H.R. 5630, sponsored by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), would increase the annual cap for high-tech H-1B visas from 65,000 to 130,000 starting this year, and up to 180,000 by the year 2010. This legislation also makes it easier for foreign students who are graduates in high-tech fields to enter or stay in the U.S. and compete with U.S. graduates.(Congress Now, March 18, 2008) This latest move only further illustrates how Congress is willing to bend over backwards to oblige special interests-interests determined to ensure that any enforcement legislation, such as the SAVE Act (H.R.4088), does not pass Congress unless it has goodies for them. While the influence these special interests has over Congress is appalling, the move to increase the number of foreign guest workers is particularly disturbing given the fact the Labor Department announced not one week ago that the U.S. economy had lost 63,000 jobs and yesterday the Federal Reserve cut interest rates in an effort to stabilize the economy. But the push to import more high-tech foreign workers isn't the only scheme politicians are devising behind closed doors. Just three weeks ago, House Leadership began negotiating legislation promoted by Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, that would grant 5-year amnesty visas to the 12-20 million illegal aliens currently in the country. And not two weeks ago, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) began efforts to bring legislation to the House floor that would allow employers to import more unskilled H-2B guest workers. Now, Capitol Hill newspapers are reporting that House Leadership-eager to address immigration in a "comprehensive" manner-is considering a package that would contain all of these elements Reply
Oct 14, 2008 5:38 PM Tonja Tonja  says:
I agree that this needs to be closely investigated -- I know of abuses and it isn't fair to the qualified staff here in the States. Note the word "qualified" ... Alex, why am I not feeling your pain? You're an AS/400 programmer? Uhhh, yeah, there's a wide-open field with lots of jobs! When you saw your prospects drying up, were you just too set in your ways (or too stubborn) to upgrade skills to something that was extremely marketable? Sounds like you got stuck in a technology, didn't keep up, and suffered because of it. Harsh reality: H1B didn't kill your prospects. Your own lack of skills did. Reply
Oct 15, 2008 1:53 PM Guest Guest  says:
Part of the problem with H1B abuse is due to USCIS NOT verifying the contents of applications. When my Indian employer in 2002 applied for my H1B, there was a typing mistake in the application prepared by the immigration attorney - my year of birth was printed incorrectly as 2001 with the correct date and month. Did the USCIS verify the contents of the application? It would have been obvious to anybody looking at my application the year of birth is wrong. My application stated my college edu 6 years before the stated year of birth. My Sun Java certification date is shown as 1 month after my stated date of birth. I received a H1B approval with the wrong year of birth application! I was preparing to fly when one manager noted this mistake and informed the immigration attorney to file for correction. The correction came after 2 weeks and then I came to USA. Reply
Oct 16, 2008 12:03 PM India? India?  says:
Accept the fact, Americans.Indians and Chinese are NEEDED for the progress of this country.The luxury and pleasure you are getting , has a to come with a price.Its a " give and take" relationship. You are not doing a favor to Indians etc by giving a H1B, its for your own benefit.Also, one more point.Indians and Asians are FAR Qualified than their American Counter parts in terms of Skilled Work set. Dont blame the system if you cant cope with it. Just check the declining number of American kids in Technology. First fix that and then make a statement. Reply
Nov 25, 2008 2:35 PM Vishal Vishal  says:
hi,i have attended an interview for my H1B on 12 Dec 2007 and at the time of interview things went well and the officer told me that i will get my passport with visa stamp in two days.But after two days when i received my passport, a green form asking for some documents from employer, was attached with it.The employer provided me the documents in March and i have submitted them to Embassy and after 6 months i received a letter from Embassy stating that they can't give me visa as my employer is not in a condition to support my application.I had paid $2500 to the employer. And now when i called him for refunding my money he is refusing to refund my money back.My questions are:1. When USCIS had approved my application then how can embassy refuse to give a visa?2. Don't USICS checks for Employer status before approving a petition? If its not doing this then USCIS is responsible for increasing no. of frauds.3. How can i get my money back from employer?4. What action i can take against the employer? Where can i report this fraud? Reply
Jan 7, 2009 6:54 PM CJH CJH  says:
I found this blog interesting given the likely backlash against the L and H-1 visa programs that will occur this coming spring. I found Vishal's post amusing given my experience in projects where Indian resources were used. I've observed that these resources are slow to grasp the business objectives driving the project; most never grasp it. Their deliveries miss the mark in nearly every instance, with the usual cause being the lack of understanding or a misplaced sense that they have a better way to solve the problem. Consequently, I will add time to any project involving these resources to account for the defects. I have not had the same experience with North American or European resources.As a last point, the aforementioned poster demonstrates an ignorance of economics and supply/demand. Could it be that students are shying away from these fields because they see salaries and job security being driven downward by an increasing supply of cheap labor? Again, missing the larger context. Hmmm...... Reply
Feb 13, 2009 1:00 PM vamsee vamsee  says: in response to Guest

Hi Vishal,

I pity you and i'm alos in the same line...

How to report this froadulent employers...

Any idea..please send mail to me so that i an alos approach.

I was alos cheated by this type of employers..

And i'm not sure whom to complain anainst fradulent emploeyrs applying H1 B visa'a..



Feb 17, 2009 6:11 PM Mumbaikar Mumbaikar  says: in response to CJH

I am an Indian working in US last few years. I have worked with numerous 'North American or European resources' who have no knowledge of what they are doing. Your post simply shows arrogance that only white people are intelligent. There were numerous times when I had to explain the business to some 'business analyst'. I only started as programmer. So anybody with necessary exposure can understand business not only NA or Euporean resources.

Feb 27, 2009 8:29 PM VK VK  says: in response to Vishal

Hi Vishal, I am in a similar situation like you. If you have found the information, can you please share the information Thanks.

Apr 16, 2009 3:00 PM To Visal, Vamsee, VK about the Frauds To Visal, Vamsee, VK about the Frauds  says: in response to VK

I am in the same condition as you three. US Embassy required me a list of items from the employer to collect. I sent mail to the employer informing that. A couple of month past away, but I got no reply. Even the mail I sent to the president of the employing company got bounced back. The local agency emailed me, "We cannot connect the employer", how come!!! The US company got the money from me through the local agency. I had the phone number of the main person who came in Bangladesh and called for an interview of H1B. Yesterday I made a phone call to that man. He was talking to me very very cunningly. He was talking to me in such a way as it was a clear cut bluffing. He din't give me any chance to talk to him in reply. He showed me a crystal clear avoidance, I mean bypassing me. They took $3000US from me. I am searching in different ways to get my problem solved. I need help also. Can u please show me the way to catch the frauds red handed and send them to jail life-long and to get the money back? I am grateful to u.

Jul 6, 2010 9:08 AM San Antonio shredding San Antonio shredding  says:

Before releasing such program or system to the public, they should assure the people that it is free of fraud.  Fraudulent people are getting crafty in the art of deception and so if we cannot entrust our personal documents to anyone, might as well have them shredded by a San Antonio shredding company, for instance, for our protection. The US embassy needs a more reliable program to ensure citizens that no fraud can ever be committed using their program.

Sep 17, 2010 11:55 AM shredding Houston shredding Houston  says:

One thing that we could do in order to protect our private information is to shred our records so that we will get victimized by identity theft.  This is why these reports are very important because it is here that you find our if you have been victimized by identity theft. This is not because of the victims' being naive, but because of the increase in sophistication in the part of those identity thieves.


Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.