On February 22,2018, USCIS published a memo updating its policies for H-1B petitions filed for employees who will work at a third-party worksite. The memo focuses on the petitioner-vendor-client relationship common to the IT industry, in which the petitioning employer contracts the H-1B worker to an end-client at a worksite through a vendor intermediary. It also focuses on situations where the H-1B petitioner places the worker directly with a client. Prior to the memo, USCIS required evidence corroborating the specialized nature of the employment and the employer-employee relationship only on a case-by-case basis. The new memo, drafted pursuant to President Trump’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, requires corroborating evidence for every third-party placement. That evidence can include contracts (to prove that the H-1B petitioner will maintain an employer-employee relationship with the H-1B worker throughout the validity period), work orders, evidence of actual work assignments, a letter signed by an authorized official of each ultimate end-client where the H-1B work will actually work, and an itinerary of placements.
H-1B petitioning employers placing employees with third-parties, including those filing cap-subject H-1B petitions this April, will need to include the recommended evidence or risk denial of their petitions. Additionally, companies serving as third-party placements for H-1B workers can expect to receive requests from petitioning employers describing the work being completed by and relationship with the H-1B workers and will need to ensure the accuracy of that requested information prior to signing off on it.