USCIS Publishes Final Memo Regarding Employer-Employee Relationship Scrutiny and Related USCIS Practices

June 19, 2020

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) released a memorandum on Thursday, June 18, implementing a previously announced settlement with business group ITService Alliance to overturn policies on H-1B visas.

What happened?

USCIS published a memo that formally rescinds two policies regarding the adjudication of certain petitions for H-1B visas.

In May, USCIS reached a settlement with ITService Alliance after a district court ruled that key USCIS policies were unlawful, specifically those that restricted the understanding of the employer-employee relationship.

Following today’s memo, USCIS adjudicators can no longer require detailed itineraries to evidence the length of an assignment or employment, or in most cases, issue approvals for H-1B petitions with validity periods shorter than the time period requested by the H-1B petitioner.

Petitioners now only have to show an employer-employee relationship by evidencing one of the following: hire, pay, fire, or otherwise control the employment of the H-1B employee, making the petition process easier for companies sponsoring employees for this type of employment.

Who does this impact?

This will impact employers applying for H-1B petitions for employees in the following scenarios:

  • Employees who work at a third-party worksite location;
  • Employees who work at a customer’s location;
  • Employees that are considered contractors, such as IT consultants; and
  • Other employer-employee relationships

What do I need to do next?

If you have been waiting to file petitions while you collect extensive contracts and itineraries documentation, GIA recommends that you contact your immigration counsel to determine if you may now be able to file earlier and without these items, easing the burden on your immigration team and impacted employees. 

If you have received a Request for Evidence (RFE) requesting such documents, GIA recommends that you discuss strategy with your attorney, as you may be able to respond without providing these items. 

If you have had a case denied in the past for employer-employee relationship, GIA recommends that you contact your immigration counsel for assistance in assessing whether your case would now be successful under this new guidance.

GIA clients directly affected by the recent decision will be notified by their Customer Relationship Manager. Should you have any questions regarding this update, please reach out via the Communication Center.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ryan Bay, who is Partner, Legal Operations, and Amber Davis, who is a Senior Associate at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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