USCIS News Policy memo Third Party H1B Contract Itinerary Rules 2018

USCIS News – New Policy Memo for Third Party worksite H1B Petitions – Why, What, Impact ?

In H1B Visa News by Kumar67 Comments

USCIS released a new policy memo on Feb 22, 2018 clarifying requirements for the third-party worksite H1B petitions. We will look at the background before the new memo, reason for these new requirements, what is it and who all it will impact.

BackgroundEmployer Employee Relationship Memo: In the past, there was a lot of abuse of the H1B Program at third-party worksite locations by IT body shop companies some of them ended up in few lawsuits. In response to such abuse, USCIS published a memo on Jan 08, 2010 outlining the guidelines that they would look in a memo called as “Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements”, which is also called Neufeld memo.  This memo back then, had a significant change in the way H1B petitions were filed for third party worksite placement and had many RFEs issued for H1Bs around  Employer Employee Relationship. Now, the current new H1B memo of 2018 clarifies and adds more requirements for third party worksite H1B petitions filed with USCIS.

Why New H1B Policy Memo for Third Party worksite locations ? 
There are few reasons for the new policy memo for H1Bs working at client site.

  • To have USCIS H1B adjudication policy in alignment with Trump Administration’s Buy American, Hire American executive order.
  • To stop abuse of the H1B Program filed under third party worksite locations in scenarios when there are one or multiple vendors between employer sponsoring H1B visa and end-client, where the actual H1B employee is working and H1B worker duties are not fully defined as specialty occupation, including how long they would work in that role. Illustrated below is this chain of vendor, client, employee and H1B sponsor that shows how the information is not transparent to USCIS with a vendor(s) in the middle as the full work details are not submitted to USCIS for entire duration of petition.H1B Visa Employer Employee Third Party worksite location New Rules 2018 Memo Details
  • USCIS says that they have seen significant employer(H1B Sponsor) violations in Third-Party worksite scenarios like paying less wage than required, keeping employees on bench and not paying while they are in waiting mode, having H1B employees perform non-specialty occupation tasks/work.

Summary of the New Policy requirements for Third-Party Worksite H-1B Petitions
The changes or the new policy should be read together or added to the current existing requirements that are already in place for H1B petitioner to establish Employer – Employee relationship as per the Neufeld memo from 2010. Below are the additions to clarify guidance regarding the contracts and itineraries that H1B sponsors submit to USCIS for third-party worksite petitions.

  • Proof of Specialty Occupation at End Client – Contracts, Work Orders : The H1B Petitioner or Sponsor ( employer) should provide all the documents and proof that the H1B employee, who will work at Third Party work site location will be employed in a specialty occupation for the entire duration of the petition requested. Basically, the proof submitted should clearly tell that the H1B employee will NOT be involved in some random tasks or non-specialty occupation related tasks during that period of employment.  Below are the List of Contracts/ Documents that H1B Sponsor has to submit.
    • Specific work assignment proof for H1B employee at end client
    • LCA corresponding to the above speciality work at end client
    • Actual work assignment at client done by H1B employee will be speciality occupation, which is based on the work requirements requested by client.
    • Contracts, Work Orders that claim that the actual work at end client would be speciality occupation for entire duration of the petition requested.

Just submitting standard contracts will not be sufficient. There should be additional details regarding work. To prove that, besides the contracts and work order, other things H1B petitioner can submit are:

    • Evidence of work assignments, technical documentation, milestone tables, marketing analysis, funding documents, etc.
    • Copies of Signed contractual agreements between all vendors and client.
    • Copies of detailed SOW ( statement of work), Work orders at the end client, which includes the duties of H1B workers, duration of job, hours, etc.
    • Original letter signed by authorized person at end-client where the H1B holder will work, which includes details of specialised duties of H1B holder, qualifications, duration of job, salary or wages paid, hours, benefits and details of supervisor.
  • Employer-Employee Relationship for Entire Duration – Contracts Evidence, Itinerary : The H1B petitioner should ensure that the Employer Employee Relationship is maintained for entire duration of the requested validity period in H1B petition.  This has to be as per the requirements in 2010 Employee-Employer Relationship Policy aka Neufeld Memo . In addition, submitting itinerary is a regulatory requirement. Details such as below should be included as part of itinerary
    • Itinerary with exact dates and exact locations of the services provided by H1B holder. These should be detailed and include all the locations, exact dates and cannot be generic or estimated dates.
    • Itinerary should also contain details that demonstrate that the H1B holder will be employed in a speciality occupation at all the third-party worksites with details like below with proper evidence.
      • Dates of each service or work done
      • Names and address of the end client(s)
      • Names and address including floor, suite, office details and phone number of locations where services will be performed.
      • The H1B sponsor can choose to sanitize the contracts, if there are any trade secrets or sensitive information. But, that should not result in proving the evidence, in such cases USCIS can deny, if they are not convinced with these changes to the contracts.
  • Validity Period of Approved H1B Petitions : All of the above have to be submitted for the entire duration of the requested H1B validity period. Even though H1B can be approved for 3 years, if the H1B sponsor does not provide all the above details for the entire duration, USCIS can choose to give approval for only certain period of time, instead of all three years.
  • H1B Visa Petition Extensions – Consular Processing, if not met for initial term: If a H1B employee was placed at third party location and applied for extension, the H1B Sponsor has to establish proof that all the above conditions were met for the previous period of working before the H1B extension. Especially, the conditions like speciality occupation work, wages, right to control H1B holders employment clause was maintained. If the above listed terms and conditions were not met for the initial period of approval before extension, but the H1B sponsor submits all proofs for the current extension of H1B, then USCIS may approve the petition, but will not give I-94 for extension of stay. The H1B employee would have to leave the country and apply for visa using consular processing.  This applies to petitions filed for same location or different location for the H1b employee.

Impact of the New H1B Policy Memo for Contracts & Itineraries :
Trump Administration has been putting many policies in place to reduce H1B fraud since they took office last year and make sure US workers’ rights are protected. Also, USCIS mission statement has changed recently, where they removed “nation of immigrants” line and says “administers nation’s lawful immigration system… protecting Americans”. All of these changes indicate the steps USCIS have taken to be in-line with current Trump Administration priorities on protecting American workers.  All the above requirements are going to be a problem for all the IT Body shop and contract workers, but it should not really impact all the full time employees, who work directly for the H1B sponsoring company and have no concept of vendors, prime vendors, etc.  Also, it will be more overhead for the current MNCs and outsourcing IT services companies to provide all of these extensive documents, where they are anticipating a new project or to provide all of the project details 6 months before the start date of the project. We can expect to see more and more RFEs for small IT body shop companies and even large outsourcing IT Services companies with the new memo. One of the bigger problems is for extensions to prove and submit all these documents, also they have to prepared to leave the country and get H1B stamped for extension, if they cannot provide all the proof.  Also, with more documentation, the processing time can take more time than current processing time for these kind of third party location petitions.

What are your thoughts ? How will it impact ?

Reference :

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Comments ( 67 )

  1. Sm

    AG jeff sessions is fully aware of the fraud being committed in the name of h-1b visa and huge fraud in backlog of EB2 and EB3 petitions after 2002. There are huge chances that more than half of them would be rejected outright and USCIS is working on that to provide guidelines to case officers to reject or seek further evidence or cal for interview each and evey one of these fraud EB2 and EB3 visas. These 300 something reps dont have a say in which bill passes the house. it is the 30 plus house freedom caucus that is totally against this bill unless 218 republicans support this bill which is not goingot happen. so stop DREAMING .

  2. R

    If the workers being laid off are “Obsolete”, why are the layed off workers training their replacements? You see that is the essential flaw. No in fact, the workers being laid off are fully qualified and up-to-date. They just have families to support and they can’t go to India and take the final resulting jobs, which pay 10$/day.

    Half the H-1b visas are used by Offshore Outsourcing companies, that never give the American worker a chance to compete for the jobs, if they can avoid Americans via the H-1b visa.

    The truth is, Offshore Outsourcing companies, personnel agencies should be barred from the H-1b program. And the program should be reserved only to technology originating countries.

    A different program can be created to deal with any general labor shortage, such as a shortage of trainees.

    Such a change should actually greatly benefit Silicon Valley companies. But it won’t help hiring manager and companies only seeking to people from South Asia.

  3. AT

    looks like more scrutiny coming towards Day-1 CPT now,

  4. Jooo

    Sadly Indian companies abused the system so much that they have made this program an easy target for anti-immigrant crowd in this country but the rules for H1-B make it easy for outside companies to game the system. They can apply for an H1-B visa even with highly padded or outright fake resumes from imaginary Indian schools and companies with so many years of experience and expertise that one would have to be born with a computer to gain that much experience. On the other hand, companies look for unreasonable amount of experience even for entry level jobs so they deserve each other.

  5. Fran

    really hope these body shops/indian consultancies are closed. They will literally abusing the whole system .
    Appreciate the administration for making the process more strenuous

  6. Nu12

    The number one importer of H1-B visas is an Indian company that is simply an outsourcing middleman for placing Indians into US companies. When the article says that there are 140,000 Indians with these visas, it ignores the fact that many of these visas are gotten through illegal or corrupt practices. This is an important reason to limit any one country to 7%.
    We need to significantly reduce the use of employment visas. After reducing the numbers of visas, the holders need to be sent back after their visa expires. That’s why they visa expires, so that they can return back to their home country and help it to prosper and buy products made in America.
    These visas are abused by the big, lefty tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Qualcomm. In my area Qualcomm is notorious for firing Americans and hiring foreign workers. Around noon near the main Qualcomm facility in San Diego, it looks like Bombay.

  7. Kooldeep


    I filed for H1B transfer from a EV model employer to a EVC model employer in Premium processing.
    The transfer got approved in 7 days.
    I think as long as employer is able to provide all the documentation there should not be issues with approval. In my case i did not have a client letter but my employer was able to provide rest of relationship documentation.


  8. RS

    Hi admin,

    Could you pls clarify when all these new documents (to support a client assignment ) need to be submitted by a petitioner. Is it as part of the packet when the petition is originally sent or after an RFE is received or when the beneficiary appears at a consulate for stamping ?

    1. Ram

      It should be sent at the time of petition filling along with your visa application and after approval should be taken for visa interview too.

    2. administrator

      You should send them when you apply the petition. If they are missing, you will be issued RFE and then you have to submit. It totally varies by case and you should submit them at the filing of H1B to avoid issues.

  9. H1B 2018

    FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raids.

    USCIS has been raiding all desi fake consultancies which are filing H1B with fake documents and non-existent in-house projects

  10. Sm

    Indian temporary workers were supposed to be ONLY highly skilled workers, to be used when Americans could not be found. Instead, they’ve been used to supplant US workers and lower wages for over 20 years. MANY of the Indians I work with are not any brighter, or better trained than their US counter-parts. But they are cheap!

    Instead of companies investing in their employees, they’ve replaced them with Indian workers willing to work for as little as 1/3rd the wages if the US counterpart.

    * Need re-training? Screw you, we’re hiring an Indian.
    * Need to take a class? Screw you, we’re hiring an Indian.
    * Expect a raise? Screw you, we’re hiring an Indian.
    * Expect to be treated fairly, with benefits and vacation? Screw you, we’re hiring an Indian.

    I worked with one Indian, did not get a single raise from his contracting company for 5 years. I had a hiring manager tell me the salaries these “critical workers” are getting and it’s a farce.

    These are temporary workers on 5 year visas, with no ties to the community, no roots, willing to live in an apartment for 5 years and leave. How is an American, wanting to buy a house and raise a family supposed to compete with someone who doesn’t have those expectations?

    And congress is looking at doubling the number of H1Bs?!

    If you want H1Bs, then let us compete on an even playing field. Companies should have to pay Indians the same wage as US workers, THEN the US worker will be the clear choice nearly every time.

  11. Bhakti

    My Extension is due in 2 months. I’m working and Client location and there is one vendor in between my employer and end client.
    My employer provides client letter only stating this employee is working with us on so and so project with some duration and never provides anything in detail. ( they never gives details of JObs i’m performing, or project details, or skill set required to do this job)

    Will this impact my extension with new rules changed?

    1. Narayana Kiriti

      Your client letter seem to meet all the requirement. Mine is the same case and I was told by many that it fits the case of approval with 90 % chances. Since it has all the details it needs , except the skillset details, this point is only point of my concern.

  12. golden

    1 You have to check the instructions. In the case where a copy is required, we normally only include the photo/bio page and the pages that have stamps. 2 You can travel to your home country, but if you do, there is some risk of losing your status here or having other troubles. If you do travel home, make sure to have evidence so you are ready to explain why you went home. 3- We have never seen a problem for people who travel to countries not listed on the form, but these days, USCIS is being more strict, so if you do travel to a different country, you should be prepared to explain why you did not list that country on the form, just in case they ask. Take care, Jason

  13. Venkatesh

    Hi kumar,

    There is news going on about dual petition (from different employer), that they might cancel initial petition if uscis found the another application on same name (Employee).


    1. administrator

      There is no new official rule as such. If the companies are related in some way like subsidiary or if they are apply to same position at same client, then they will. This has been abused by employers filing for same client but by different body shop vendors for the same position and looked very closely.

  14. VDesi

    The next likely memo will require end client to furnish letter stating no American worker was displaced due to H1b hire. This law is already on the books, just not enforced.

  15. XXX

    Hi Kumar

    My question,

    Am currently working in TCS for Client X and moving to Client Y. Do I need to go back to India and come back to new project for new Client Y?

    1. amol

      Your employer needs to amend your petition when that change occurs and before you *officially* start working at different client location.
      USCIS people does a random visit to a client sites these days and verify all the facts.

    2. administrator

      It depends on the approval status. As per new rules, your location has changed and if your duties change at employer, your employer need to file LCA and other paper work and do Amendment as needed. If you apply for amendment to USCIS, then depending on the decision, you may or may not have to leave the country. Speak to your immigration attorney, they are the best ones to guide you.

  16. Narayana Kiriti

    All US is saying is that we want Phds or high skilled immigrants ( AI , Robotics ) who create jobs but NOT some one with skills in ( sharepoint , testing or for that matter low level programmers ) who work in third party sites with hardly any communication skills and claim themselves as HIGHLY skilled techies. Yes most of hundreds of thousands who already received GCs precisely from these categories. But TIME changes everything. Its best stay in our countries and fight rather than begging around to make a case. I am going back after my H1 expiry.

  17. Ankur

    Hi Kishore,

    I recently got offer from Deloitte Consulting and I have yet to transfer my H1B. I am currently with a product based company (fulltime).I want your advise after this new memo as most of these big consulting companies have short term projects (3 months) with a particular client. SOWs & client letters would be for that duration.Is it safe now to jump the ship ? It will be impossible to join any consulting company if that is the case.

    1. administrator

      This policy is very new and we do not know the full implications on IT services companies or business consulting companies . As per the rule, they ( Deloitte) need to submit details of all the assignments and locations, itinerary, etc. We do not know how companies will handle all of these. As things are changing rapidly with immigration and rules, it maybe better idea to stay put and wait, unless you have a compelling reason to move. It is your personal risk appetite and discretion, take an informed decision.

  18. Author: M.G.Narasimha Murthy.

    It will be good if the USCIS grants Have 1B visas on the basis of merit (qualifications, experience and clean background) and preference to Indian applicants who have studied in American universities. This will help deserving applicants and prevent misuse of the visa and also ensure security. The selection process should be speeded up so that applicants may not suffer from anxiety and tension.This suggestion may please be conveyed to the USCIS for consideration.

    1. Ratan

      do you think an Indian graduated in IIT/REC, or a professional with 10 years exp is lesser qualified than an Indian done MS in some junk US university ?? this is clearly an illusion.. at least Software Industry does not work like that..
      i have worked with a PhD candidate, who struggled so much to cope up with his duties and had to leave after few months..
      if a person is really “highly” qualified, it will be shown in their salary.. dot..

    2. Kathir

      To Mr M.G.Narasimha Murthy:

      I have seen students studied in the US universities doing some delivery job after their education and attending interviews thru proxies in Hyderabad. Since, the proxy was not able to pronounce the state name “Massachusetts”, he was not able to help the so called US university-studied student to get a job.

  19. Jagdish

    I am planning to go for H1B transfer this week from company A to company B. I work in a third party client location and client doesn’t want to give any letter. My current Visa is valid till July 2019. Does the new rule apply for the transfer I am looking or I can go for a transfer? Please suggest.

    1. administrator

      Yes, it applies to every type either new or transfer, including extension of H1B petition, where a third party client is involved. So, applies to your case too for transfer.

  20. Biswaranjan Nayak

    I have petition approved till June 2019 and have not travelled yet. Mean while my promotion has happened. So it will go for an amendment. So is the update applicable to amendment cases as my roles, responsibility and client will change as-well.

    1. administrator

      Yes, any kind of H1B petition, including amendments will go through this new memo process, if it involves working at client site.

    1. administrator

      If your H1B is not sponsored directly by the client, the above requirements in new memo apply to you. Basically, if you do not work at your H1B Sponsor( employer) office location and perform work at any client, then all the above applies to you. All these apply for New and Extensions.

  21. Ratan

    There is no doubt that body shop companies must be regulated. But the rules must be practical, clear and less subjective.
    For eg., my friend got an offer directly with the client, but the client simply are afraid of taking up all the pains for H1b. So, they suggested her to apply through a preferred vendor. If H1B process is simple and straightforward, she would have got direct employment.
    USCIS must make sure they do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    1. administrator

      I guess, the whole point of memo is to make sure the end client is fully aware of the H1B process and is using the resource as speciality occupation. As you said, there will be much pushback from many employers as they may not want to deal with extra burden, but I guess USCIS is pushing for it to stop abuse and position H1B as a pure speciality occupation and the clients fully understand their H1B workers immigration restrictions. It will be a tough journey for EVC model kind of scenarios where client does not understand and does not want to take the extra burden…

      1. Ratan

        there are lot of things to it.. lets say, Apple or google hires an Indian techie in H1B.. after an year, if the employee has to be laid off, there is way to deal with this situation.. the employee is at a greater risk of losing job in US and India, jeopardizing his entire career… so, the brighter people would obviously try to stay away from h1, is it not ? no doubt that violations must be stopped.. would be happy, as long as it helps companies to hire the best talents, without the need of middlemen..

        1. Panky

          This Body shop consultancy came up with new funda “DNC” agreeement , so that sign DNC agrrement and get $$ cut from the H1B employer amd allow to do direct contact with the prime vendor of client.
          when this shit will stop not sure.

      2. AJ

        So the new policy says to i) provide Client letter while filing H1B extension ..and 2) H1B will be extended only for the duration of assignment and it can be less than 3 yrs also, is that correct? these are the only 2 clauses in new policy?

        1. administrator

          Not just client letter, but details as they ask in the letter with all the info of what will be done by the H1B employee. It is up to the discretion of USCIS and they may only give only until the contract is on the letter or details. Read the article again, you will find all the clauses.

      3. amol

        You are right. All USCIS is doing is basically bringing in end client into this picture and making them accountable for this engagement.

    2. Manoj Vasudevan

      These body shops made our life difficult. The intend of the H1b visa was to hire folks where it difficult to hire Americans. These outsourcing companies destroyed the entire culture. I work full time for my employer, still I am scared to go for stamping.

      1. CK

        It doesnot matter if you work for google or fb or fulltime.
        Racism will get people rejected for sure. Jobs are taken from americans

      2. Sm

        All those Indians are classified as highly skilled individual by the news media. These are paid bashers by those Indian out sources companies. Guess what, once those Indians get a position in any company, in turn they bring more Indians. Go and have a look in those telecom companies, full of Indians. Hardly, you will see any Americans. What a disgrace, our greedy politicians sold the country to the Indians. If things are not controlled now, in next 10 years, you will not see any American working any of the IT company. Recently, my manager who is also an Indian let my go to hire couple of young Indians. I do not have a job now. My sorrow knows no bound. But, nothing I could do.

  22. TVM

    Sensible initiative. Should have been introduced and enforced long time ago. Now, hopefully these fraudulent IT body shops will go out of business. Increased documentation and scrutiny will result in many end clients reducing their requirement of 3rd party H-1B employees. This reduction in numbers will hopefully result in the prime vendor being able to supply all the employees itself rather than having to rely on other vendors. Ultimately, the elimination of all these middlemen vendors will be beneficial for both the end client and the H-1B employee.

  23. Neel

    Should not be a problem , Every company should be fair infront of USCIS , it will ease most employees life in a broader sense ,,,

    No need to worry at all!

    1. administrator

      It should not really impact, because there is no concept of third party worksite kind of situation or Vendor in full time H1B transfers.

  24. Prasanna Ramanatha

    Hi , is this applicable even to big companies like Cognizant , Infy etc? I have never seen them approaching the end clients for a client letter for the employee, as they ll be filing for 100s of ppl and it ll be a total embarrassment for the client. Please clarify.

    1. administrator

      Yes, these rules apply to every company, including CTS, Infy. Well, we will have to see how it will work out and how these companies will handle the new requirements from USCIS.

        1. VK

          It’s not going to be that easy even for big players. USCIS will handle each petitioner with same way.
          Only benefit for big players is that they can handle H1 rejections & employ more GC/Citizens (That’s what the govt wants), but small players will have huge impact & personally I see many closing shops.

          1. Ganga

            At some point there will be a bottleneck.
            Any GC/Citizen will be demanding for higher salaries and Employer/EndClient cannot pay those rates consistently. This will force EndClients to use offshore resources more than hiring in US. Which will inturn increase the Jobs in India and other developing countries

            If I am an EndClient, I would get a very strong FTE for 25000 USD at offshore, whereas I have to pay atleast 125000 USD for GC/Citizen

    1. administrator

      Yes, if it is a petition involving third party worksite, it will have impact and all the above policy memo rules apply.

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