Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2005

H1-B VISA Reform Act of 2004

On December 8, 2004, President Bush signed the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 4818) into law. This law incorporates the "H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004," which contains significant provisions affecting the H-1B specialty worker nonimmigrant visa category. Highlights affecting CSU include:

1. A new $500 "anti fraud protection and detection" fee must be paid for all H-1B petitions submitted to the Department of Homeland Security as of March 8, 2005. This does not affect extensions of current CSU H-1B employees but does affect all others, including those who must change their visa status or are "porting" their H-1B to us from another employer. If you are going to submit a petition to our office, please do so as soon as possible in order to save $500 per petition.

2. Employers must now pay 100% of the "prevailing wage" as established by the Department of Labor. Previously, we had to pay 95%.

3. Wage survey data levels will be expanded from 2 to 4. Surveys used by the federal government determine the prevailing wages that employers must pay. Usually, CSU wages are sufficient. We will be monitoring these new prevailing wage levels as they are implemented and communicating with hiring departments about ways to appropriately categorize wage levels for new employees.

4. The Department of Labor's authority to investigate fraud and abuse was expanded to include both investigations based on specific complaints and those initiated by the DOL itself. Procedures at CSU meet all federal requirements with regard to wages, posting of Labor Condition Applications, and records.

5. The one bit of good news is that the law adds an additional 20,000 H-1Bs for graduates of U.S. masters and doctoral programs. This will benefit CSU international graduate students who wish to work for private sector employers.

MIP Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1, p5, January 2005 Newsletter HomeMIP HomeCVMBS HomeCSU Home