Brooklyn, NY asked in Immigration Law, Employment Law, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination for New York

Q: My job asked me to share my college transcripts & diplomas to submit to U.S. immigration to help a new hire get a visa.

I work in NYC, at will, salaried. My employer requested that I share my diploma and transcripts so that they can share them with immigration officials to help a new hire get a work visa. My employer did not indicate that the request was optional. Can they legally request that? Can they share my documents with immigration officials to help someone else get a visa? I did not share the documents because I am uncomfortable with the request, but I’m wondering if there are any legal implications or actions I can take. It seems like a large request to ask your employee to share their detailed education history to U.S. immigration officials for the purposes of someone else getting a visa.

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: The USCIS has gotten extremely obnoxious to employers for H1-b visa applications. The unrighteous restrictions placed upon lawful non-immigrant/immigrant employment visa applicants smothers the U.S. economy due to bigotry and ignorance. They used to allow 200,000 H1b visas in the 1990s, but it dropped back to 65,000. No, you don't have to provide the transcript, but you should think about it. Also, know that your name, address, and a few other items may be redacted.

This is the Federal Government, with Congressional blessings, pushing for unreasonable demands upon employers that, to many of us, seem obnoxious! This mentality persists with requests for additional evidence on H1-b visa petitions. The USCIS has gotten away with what seems like unreasonable demands for years. There is a total lack of trust and this should end! If USCIS has an issue, then it must demand more funds for the FDNS Units to investigate 'what they fear may' be fraud but do it, efficiently! There ought to be many more lawsuits, but few want to sue the DHS, because it costs a lot; too much to justify one petitioned H1b employee! Congress needs to 'cut the red tape.'

Your employer 'will likely significantly benefit' from your empathy and decision to assist Human Resources. Your transcripts are likely to remain confidential. HR may be willing to black out your name and enough identifying facts. Ask! However, we have both read the news. The damage from the Solar Winds fiasco is unsettling!

Unfortunately, if you are an employee, at will, your employer too often does not have to continue employment. This is especially true if once midsized employers is 'now' treated like a 'smaller employer' due to the mega-employer conglomerates now in the U.S. It seems like EEOC has been rendered a useless instrument by questionable Congressional funding. Your decision to help definitely benefits your employer, but it does have risks, even if remote.

If you think that it is wrong for DHS to make such extreme demands, then you and your employer should complain to your Congressman and Senators! Your employer should not be forced to divulge confidential documents from its employees thereby messing up its ability to hire, hindering relationships, and retain more of the most appropriate employees, including you! Good luck with whatever decision you choose to make.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: That looks like a very strange request.

I do not practice immigration law. Call some immigration lawyers.

Did you attend the same school the work visa applicant attends? Maybe they need to authenticate educational documentation? But there are better ways to do that.

Call immigration lawyers to confirm that your documents should be accessible only to your employer unless your employer is now questioning the legitimacy of your own documentation which they should have told you if that were the case.

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