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USCIS Announces New Requirements for Hiring H-1B Foreign Workers

By The Houston H-1B Specialty Worker Visa Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham., P.C.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the “Employ American Workers Act,” (EAWA) that is part of the larger American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). EAWA was enacted to ensure that companies receiving the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to go through further requirements prior to hiring foreign national workers. Under this legislation any company that has received TARP funding and seeks to hire new H-1B workers is considered an “H-1B dependent employer.” All H-1B dependent employers must make additional attestations to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) when filing the Labor Condition Application (LCA).

A Labor Condition Application, not to be confused with a Labor Certificate (PERM), is an application in which an employer must file with the U.S. Department of Labor prior to filing an H-1B visa with the USCIS. The new law requires that the employer attest to the fact that it is an H-1B Dependent Employer. Failure to properly identifying as an H-1B Dependent Employer will result in a denial of the H-1B Application for Specialty Worker Visa Application.

EAWA applies to all Labor Condition Applications (LCA) and H-1B petitions filed on or after Feb. 17, 2009, including new applications of foreign nationals that currently have an H-1B visa with another employer (often referred as “H-1B Transfer). The EAWA also applies to new hires based on a petition approved before Feb. 17, 2009, if the H-1B employee had not actually commenced employment before that date. However, EAWA does not apply to H-1B petitions seeking to change the status of a beneficiary already working for the employer in another work-authorized category. It also does not apply to H-1B petitions seeking an extension of stay for a current employee with the same employer. Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, will be revised to reflect the new changes.

However, USCIS urges H-1B petitions who have already prepared packages for mailing using the previous Form I-129 (January 2009 version) to complete only the page in the revised version of the Form I-129 (March 2009) which has the new question on EAWA attestation requirements and to file this single page with the prepared package. The single page referenced is the first page on the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement.

For more information for filing an H-1B Visas, including filing an LCA with the DOL, please contact the Houston Business Visa Attorneys and the Houston Work Visa Application Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham.. Although the H-1B cap were usually reached soon after April 1 start date, USCIS has not reached the H-1B Cap for fiscal year 2010 as of the date of this article (April 8, 2009). We encourage all employers to contact our U.S. H-1B Application Attorneys for more details and assistance if you are interested in hiring a foreign national employee. Our U.S. Employment Immigration Attorneys can be reached at 713-517-6645 .


Unless specifically stated, attorneys are not certified in any specic areas of law with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Furthermore, immigration Law is a vast area of law and requires an immigration attorney with years of experience to understand the intricacies of the Immigration & Nationality Law. The information above is generalized based on current immigration law at the time this article was written. You should contact a Houston Immigration Attorney at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham. for more information. Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham is a Houston-based Immigration Law Firm with emphasis on employment-based immigrant petitions and nonimmigrant business visas. You are invited to contact the Houston Work Visa Attorneys and the Houston H-1B Visa Application Lawyers at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.