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Q: Employment Eligibility Auditing for F-1 Visa holders ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Employment Eligibility Auditing for F-1 Visa holders
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: jkrue-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 31 May 2006 01:00 PDT
Expires: 30 Jun 2006 01:00 PDT
Question ID: 733936
International students in the USA on an F-1 visa are only supposed to
work on campus and up to 20 hours a week.  I want to know how it is
verified or audited that an F-1 student is complying with this.  In
other words, if they work off campus and/or over 20 hours a week, how
is this identified, tracked, etc.  This question pertains only to
"over the table", reported earned-income (1040) style employment.  I'm
not interested in anything relating to "under the table" unreported
income employment.  I already understand the penalties for violating
the employment rules - deportation, expulsion, etc.

I want to know the following information about employment eligibility
audits/verification for international students in the USA on an F-1 visa:

1) Who performs the audit?
2) What information is used to perform the audit (i.e. 1040, Social
Security Database, INS database, etc)?
3) Are there any statistics regarding enforcement actions based on violation of
F-1 visa work eligibility rules?
Subject: Re: Employment Eligibility Auditing for F-1 Visa holders
Answered By: wonko-ga on 09 Jun 2006 14:22 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
There are multiple ways that illegal employment in violation of F-1
status can be discovered by the Department of Homeland security.

First, schools are required to report all unauthorized employment to
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  "We are required to
report all unauthorized employment to USCIS."  Seton Hall University

Second, employers are required to verify the identity and work
authorization of everyone they hire using Employment Eligibility
Verification Form I-9.  These records are subject to audit by
officials from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE), the Department of Labor, and/or the Justice Department's Office
of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment

Third, Federal income tax returns are required as part of the
application for United States permanent residency.  Information on tax
returns suggesting previous employment allows immigration officers to
require proof of work authorization for that employment before
approving such an application.

Fourth, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System may flag
violators.  "F-1 visa holders should expect stricter scrutiny of
applications for work authorizations."  "SEVIS" University of

Finally, ICE is also seeking access to Social Security data to
investigate fraudulent usage of Social Security numbers, which will be
another method for uncovering F-1 visa employment violations.

Despite an extensive search, I was unable to locate any specific
statistics regarding F-1 visa employment violations.  However, I was
able to locate the following:

"A substantial portion of the illegal aliens in this country are visa
violators, with an estimated 165,000 new visa violations occurring
annually. ICE created the Compliance Enforcement Unit in June 2003 to
focus on high-risk visa violators by using new computer systems such
as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to flag
violators. Since its inception, this unit has sent more than 10,000
leads to ICE field offices resulting in 2,100 arrests. ICE will be
expanding the capacity of this unit and other visa compliance efforts
of its field offices. The Fiscal Year 2007 budget request seeks an
additional $10 million for ICE compliance enforcement efforts. Last
year, ICE arrested more than 6,000 visa violators nationwide."
"Department of Homeland Security unveils comprehensive immigration
enforcement strategy for the nation's interior" US Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (April 20, 2006)

These statistics suggest that at most a few hundred people per year
are arrested for F-1 visa employment violations.  Anecdotal evidence
reported in a survey by the Social Security Administration suggests
that very few people, if any, are arrested for F-1 visa employment

?Although we were encouraged that several of the educational
institutions contacted during our survey required proof of an
on-campus job offer before they assisted F-1 students in obtaining
SSNs, the majority of the schools did not require such proof. Instead,
most of the schools facilitated the attainment of SSNs by issuing F-1
students work authorization letters simply because the students were
eligible to work on-campus or planned to pursue on-campus employment
sometime in the future. Additionally, the school representatives we
interviewed generally did not follow up with students after they
issued the work authorization letters to ensure these students were
actually working on campus. Despite the apparent lack of controls, the
schools reported they rarely learned of a student who obtained an SSN
and then dropped out of school to work elsewhere in the U.S. economy.
Rather, they believed foreign students were seeking SSNs to assist
them in functioning in the United States while they are in the country
to study.?

?Survey of Educational Institutions' Issuance of Work Authorization
Documents to Foreign Students? Social Security Administration
(September 2004)



Additional Sources:

"Employment Records Subject to Immigration Law Audits" Nation's
Building News (May 8, 2006)

"Homeland Security Targets Illegal Immigrant Employers"

"About Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification" USCIS (January
20, 2006)

"Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Eligibility" USCIS
(January 20, 2006)

"Consequences of Illegal Employment" San San Francisco State

Search terms: F-1 visa employment; F-1 visa employment compliance; F-1
visa employment violations; I-9 compliance; ICE I-9; F-1 illegal
employment; F-1 visa employment SEVIS; audit f-1 employment
jkrue-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
This answer is very complete and suggests the researcher spent some
time on the Internet to assemble the information.  The answer
addresses all points of the question and will help in making a
decision about the situation that precipitated the question.  All
acronyms are expanded, all sources quoted.  The researcher used clear
language and the answer is well formulated.

The answer could have been improved by inclusion of some non-Internet
sources, such as a phone call to university Foreign student affairs

There are no comments at this time.

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