If you have not been following news, few of the H1B visa holders were sent back at the Port of Entry in early January 2010. Check this article : “ H1B holders sent back at Port of Entry Newark” . Anyways, there was a lot of talk around this and many were contacted for information why this happened. Here is a summary of information that is floating around all the immigration blogs and everyone claims that this is legitimate information from AILA (American immigration Lawyers association) and CBP Headquarters.
Why were H1B visa holders sent back at Port of Entry ?
I will try to break down the whole information on why H1B visa holders were deported into few points for clarity.
- Some of the questions the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers asked H1B consultants were about Pay computation, duties, salary info etc. If you think through the situation, there is a high chance for someone to be nervous and state unnecessary information and get in trouble.
- One of the reasons the CBP liaison committee states is: The H1B holders arrived at port of entry of Newark were from consulting companies that were under investigation by ICE and USCIS for fraud.
- The CBP Headquarters also say that the H1B holders were not having enough documents to support their H1B visa or the visa petition fraud. Based n the specifics of H1B case, the CBP officers can either ask the H1B holder to either withdraw the application or done expedited removal.
- The CBP officers in case of any clarifications they may contact the H1B sponsoring companies. They also check all the requirements and make sure there are no violations in employment offers, etc. The CBP office works closely with Dept of Labor and FDNS.
About rules enforcement by CBP:
- It is informed that the Newark Airport will have random checks for any employment related visas like H1B visa holders, L1 visa. Keep in mind, other airports can start doing all these. Be prepared.
- The CBP officers will verify all the documents and if they find any discrepancies, the visa holders may be asked to withdraw or subject to expedited removal.
What can you do for smooth Port of Entry immigration Check for H1B visa holders:
Well, you have heard the story and reasons. In fact, if you look closely, this is nothing new. It is just a process that CBP usually does and it has come into more light now with new H1B visa rules for 2010 Petitions . Unfortunately, with all the macro economic factors like recession and unemployment, the situation is magnified by everyone. Anyways, here is what can help you present a stronger case.
- Enter US at a Port of entry where your company’s head office or office is located.
- Take contact info of your employer and have it with you. Tell the date and time you are coming to employer precisely. The CBP officers may call your employer for clarifications.
- Be bold, do not panic and stick to the supporting information you have at hand. Do NOT claim anything that you do not have proof. Do NOT talk anything other than what they ask for. I know it is not as easy as it is to say…but at least try !
- Do NOT sign any papers unless you know what you are signing and you think what is written there is correct and you are one among them. Think of proof and analyze before you sign anything. You may be barred from entering US for next 5 years if you sign anything that indicates you did fraud or violation of immigration law.
- Carry every single piece of document that is needed. Your employer knows what all you need. Call them and bug them for the full list. Talk to friends who have come to US and see what you are missing.
Anyways, just thought of summarizing all the info I read in the immigration blogs. Hope it helps you all. Use discretion and logic rather than just blindly believing in random ‘ re-mixed H1B news’ floating around .
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