If your company frequently hires employees who are in the United States with H1B visas, you need to be prepared for the possibility of an H1B visa audit. The Department of Labor thoroughly screens and monitors H1B visa laws and regulations. To determine that adhere to all of these standards, you should preempt a government audit by launching an internal audit.
Should any discrepancies be found, you need to then hire the services of a qualified US immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you and guide you through the best course of action. A firm with extensive experience in handling H1B visa audits will know the best available options and will be able to guide you to the solution that is best for you, your business, and your employees.
A law firm that specializes in many legal areas such as Material Misrepresentation in LCAs, Improper Selection and Classification of Prevailing Wage Levels and Actual Wage, Benching and Nonpayment of Wages, and other categories, will be most qualified to prepare your business for a potential government audit.
An H1B audit, which is done by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, is performed in order to ascertain whether a business is in compliance with the laws for H1B visas. The audit may be conducted based on a random selection by the Wage and Hour Division, or due to US Embassy referral or employee complaint.
If your company is determined to be in violation of the regulations on H1B visas, the Wage and Hour Division may issue civil money penalties, which, depending on the infraction, may cost anywhere between $1000 and $35000 per violation. You may also be made to honor other remedies, such as the payment of back wages to employees.
You will generally have one weeks notice via written notification of the impending audit. After you receive this correspondence, you should expect to receive requests for additional information and documents throughout the course of the investigation. You must be prepared to present these materials in a reasonable, timely fashion. In certain cases, there may be no prior notification of an impending H1B audit.
In order to demonstrate your positive intentions toward the H1B visa audit, you need to provide the investigator with a comfortable environment in which to conduction the investigation. The Department of Labor and the investigator expect your voluntary compliance, and living up to this expectation will benefit your case. Here too, the guidance of a US immigration lawyer will help you meet all of the investigators demands.
Although, an H1B visa audit is an aggravating distraction from your business, it does serve a purpose. Qualified legal counsel and compliance with the audit will behoove both you and your company.