02 November 2010
Report details US Visa frauds in H2B programme
A US Government report with details of fraud within the H2B visa programme has been made public.
"Several recent convictions have shown that some employers and recruiters may be abusing the foreign workers in the programme," the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in its letter to Congressman George Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor.
The report details 10 cases in which violations included unfair wages for employees, excessive fees charged to employees, and fraudulent documentation submitted to federal agencies to circumvent the US Visa programme rules.
The report also showed more than 87 Indian nationals paid at least USD 20,000 each to enter the US illegally.
"The 10 cases that we reviewed demonstrate fraud and abuse committed by recruiters and employers participating in the H-2B visa programme and operating in 29 states," the report said.
In six of the 10 cases reviewed, there were allegations that employers did not pay their H-2B employees the established hourly wage, overtime, or both.
The report found that in six cases employers charged their H-2B workers a fee that was for the benefit of the employer or charged an excessive fee that brought employees' wages below the hourly federal minimum wage.
In eight of the 10 cases, employers were alleged to have submitted fraudulent documentation.
The H2B Visa is a non-immigrant US Visa that allows foreign nationals to enter into the US temporarily and engage in non-agricultural employment that is seasonal. Many are employed in construction or hospitality jobs.