As Lathrop & Gage recently reported, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has started to require employers filing H-1B, L-1 and O-1A petitions to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they have reviewed and complied with complex regulations on granting foreign nationals access to certain restricted technology. Many employers are unfamiliar with these regulations and unable to determine whether the rules apply to them. In acknowledgement, USCIS suspended the certification requirement for several weeks, but the requirement has now become mandatory.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has announced that it will offer an on-demand webinar on the technology access rules starting Monday, February 28, 2011, in collaboration with an organization called True Compliance Group. Employer representatives who will be signing the required certification for H-1B, L-1, and O-1A cases may want to take advantage of this training opportunity. The webinar will be available for purchase through AILA’s conference recordings site for a fee of $150 on or after February 28.

We call this AILA/True Compliance webinar to employers’ attention because the training appears to be the first of its kind since USCIS imposed the certification requirement. The training is supposed to familiarize employers with the relevant regulations, the different agencies involved, and the key concepts necessary for an accurate certification.

Violation of the regulations on disclosing controlled technology can subject an organization to serious civil and criminal penalties. The training in and of itself will not shield an organization from such penalties, but it may equip an employer with the knowledge necessary for compliance.