The Labor Department has announced plans to more aggressively enforce employment-based nonimmigrant visa programs and crack down on abuses of worker visa programs through increased investigations. The statement, made two months after U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services announced it would begin targeting certain H-1B visa employers, calls for:
Use of all tools (including audits and site visits) to enforce labor protections provided by visa programs, including H-1B and E-3 visas;
Development of changes to the Labor Condition Application, which is used by employers in all H-1B filings, to identify violations and fraud;
Coordination between departments to strictly enforce visa program rules and make criminal referrals.
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While more specific enforcement details have yet to be outlined, employers should be prepared for increased scrutiny of all visa applications and more site visits. These proposed enforcement activities are in line with President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order and employers should be actively working to ensure they are in compliance with all Department of Labor visa regulations.