This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) agreed to a settlement of a major court case that has significant benefit to staffing firms that use the H-1B visa program to hire professional-level employees. The settlement dramatically reduces evidentiary requirements for issues including proving the “employer–employee relationship”; “availability of work”; and project itineraries.
For years, professional staffing firms relying on H-1B workers were frustrated by demand for excessive documents showing the relationship between the end client and the staffing firm. In 2018, USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum entitled “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites” (“2018 Contracts Memo”) that specified even more documentation staffing firms were required to present.
Two separate courts recently issued decisions negating the validity of the 2018 Contracts Memo, and USCIS entered a settlement that includes several key conditions that benefit professional staffing firms that rely on H-1B workers.