Many H-2B workers are leaving the United States, obtaining tourist visas (B-2), and returning to work for their employers. H-2B employers should know that this is a scam that might land them in serious legal trouble.
Tourist visas do not allow the foreign national to work legally in the United States. Employing a worker on a tourist visa may violate any number of immigration laws. What’s worse is that the worker needs to lie about the purpose of his “visit” and that may constitute visa fraud and a whole host of related criminal offenses. This is a problem for the H-2B employer because the government might view this as a conspiracy – yet, another crime.
Wendel Hall, a prominent Washington, DC-based H-2B lawyer, warned employers by saying, “Visa fraud is a serious crime carrying serious penalties. Investigating and prosecuting this crime is a priority of this Administration. It is always best to stay well-within the bounds of the law.”
The best way to avoid trouble is to get good legal advice upfront. You may find out that the law provides a legal way to employ a particular worker or that a planned course of action is very unwise. The Hall Law Office specializes in immigration issues related to the H-2B Program and can be reached at (202) 661-2173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.