Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed that it is working with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deter ongoing fraud in the H-1B program. In December 2009 and January 2010, CBP at the Newark, New Jersey International Airport denied admission to some H-1B nonimmigrants working for certain companies. The CBP Inspectors at Newark questioned the H-1B nonimmigrants about who they worked for, how they were paid, who paid their salary and their job duties. CBP headquarters confirmed that CBP Newark was working with USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Unit and ICE. CBP headquarters indicated that the recent inadmissibility cases range from simple documentary deficiency to visa fraud. CBP headquarters stated that if an H-1B nonimmigrant was determined to be inadmissible, the applicant was either allowed to withdraw his/her application for admission or could be subject to expedited removal based on the totality of the circumstances which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Based upon the increased enforcement in the H-1B program, foreign nationals should review a copy of their H-1B petition and supporting documents prior to reentering the United States. Additionally, the foreign nationals may want to carry evidence to support the assertions made in the H-1B petition filed by their employer, including but not limited to a recent paystub or employment confirmation letter issued by the employer. Additionally, employers should be prepared to receive telephone inquiries from CBP officers at the ports-of-entry to confirm any information contained in the H-1B petition and/or information provided by the H-1B nonimmigrant at the port-of-entry. Information provided to CBP and/or any other governmental agency must be consistent with the information filed with the initial H-1B petition.

Additional information about the increased enforcement in the H-1B program will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.