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Uscis Issues Additional Information Regarding The Employ American Workers Act (Eawa) To Employers Filing H-1B Petitions

The USCIS has issued additional information regarding the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) to those who wish to file for H-1B petitions. The U.S. H-1B visa is a worker visa that allows an U.S. organization to hire a foreign worker to work for a transient period of up to 6years.

The EAWA was enacted on Feb 17, 2009 and will expire on Feb 17, 2011. This act was passed to confirm that the organizations which acquire financial aid under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act do not remove U.S. employees from their concern. The EAWA demands assurances on employment and non-displacement of U.S. workers to be made to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), when a Labor Condition Application (LCA) is being filed. An organization that has received covered funding to hire H-1B employees is known as an “H-1B dependent employer” under the EAWA.

Following the enactment of the EAWA, the USCIS has modified its Form I-129 with a new question A.1.d added to it, which would facilitate the USCIS to filter the employers who have received covered funding. If the employers have already repaid their obligation, their answer must be “no” to the newly added question. To know the obligation status, the employers may get in touch with the Department of Treasury, or the Federal Reserve.

The USCIS insists on filing a Labour Condition Application with the U.S. Department of Labor, when the H-1B petition is being filed. Any contradiction between the question A.1.d on the H-1B petition and the LCA will end up either in delay or rejection of further processing. Such applications will be considered only if the petitioner justifies the contradiction to the USCIS.

The EAWA applies to hires taking place on or after Feb 17, 2009 and before Feb 17, 2011 only and not applicable to H-1B Petitions requesting to extend the H-1B status of an existing employee with the same employer. It is also not applicable to H-1B Petitions requesting change of status of an U.S. work-authorized employee to H-1B status.

Image taken on 2008-04-17 20:49:05. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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