USCIS Issues Guidance On How It Analyzes Employers’ Ability to Pay Wages

USCIS (Designed by Freepik)
March 23, 2023

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new policy guidance concerning wages. The USCIS also discusses analyzing employers’ abilities to pay employees the proffered wage for the immigrant petitions in the different employment-based visa classifications.

According to the USCIS, employers must provide job offers that show they can and will pay the proffered wage to the beneficiary. This requirement applies to all potential and current employees under the first, second, or third preference employment-based immigrant visas. Employers must also guarantee they can pay the wages as the beneficiary’s priority date for the immigration petition.

The regulation covering this policy also specifies requirements that start on the priority date. For example, employers must submit federal tax returns, audited financial statements, or annual reports yearly. Furthermore, the policy clarifies requirements for employers with a hundred or more employers. In this case, the USCIS may accept a statement from a financial officer instead of the items above. This officer must attest to the employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage.

The USCIS’s updated guidance also explains the types of additional evidence employers can submit. In addition, it describes how the USCIS considers any information showing the financial strength of the employer and the importance of their business activities. For example, employers can provide payroll records to meet the requirements. Submitting these records in the applicable period would prove they have paid the beneficiary the agreed-upon wage. The updated policy also provides a helpful appendix for officers or stakeholders.

For example, it includes a summary of many business forms and structures that interested parties should know. This appendix helps the interested parties to understand the various petitioning entities and petitions. This knowledge includes filing the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-140) or Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129). In addition, new commercial enterprises underlying an Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-256) or Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor (Form I526E) also use these business forms or structures.

The appendix also details how to set up various businesses, the standard characteristics, required tax forms they must file with the Internal Revenue Service, and tax terms. Interested parties can find this guidance in Volume 6 of the Policy Manual. In addition, it will take effect after publication and apply to any petitions filed on or after the publication date.

Employers who meet the wage requirements and hire a foreign worker must complete the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process. This requirement applies to all new hires and can sometimes prove complicated. The easiest way to correctly complete this form is to use an electronic I-9 management system. This system will guide employers through the entire process and safely store the forms and documentation.

When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.