USCIS Provides More Information on the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) for H-1B Employers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided additional guidance last week regarding the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) to employers seeking to file H-1B petitions. 

The EAWA was enacted to ensure that companies that receive funding under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act do not displace U.S. workers. Under this legislation, any company that has received covered funding and seeks to hire new H-1B workers is considered an “H-1B dependent employer.” An H-1B dependent employer must make additional statements to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the recruitment and non-displacement of U.S. workers when filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA). 

Subsequent to the enactment of EAWA, USCIS revised its Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, to include a question asking whether the employer received covered funding (Question A.1.d).  See the first page of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. Question A.1.d. is meant to identify petitioners who received funding under TARP or section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act when the petition is filed.

USCIS noted that some businesses who received covered funding may have subsequently repaid their obligations and may not know how to respond to Question A.1.d.  If you have repaid your obligations, then answer “No” to Question A.1.d.   USCIS additionally reminds employers that EAWA applies only to new hires and not to H-1B petitions seeking to change the status of a beneficiary working for the petitioning employer in another work-authorized category. It also does not apply to H-1B petitions seeking an extension of H-1B status for a current employee to continue working for the same employer.

We will provide additional information at www.bashyamspiro.com as it becomes available.