Staffing Management

Staffing Firms Still Find H-1B Difficulties

By Staffing Analysts

Mar. 12, 2012

Staffing firms continue to experience difficulty bringing in workers on H-1B visas, said Mark Roberts, CEO of the TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of information technology services firms, clients, consultants and suppliers.

“They are going through, but not without difficulty,” Roberts said. The TechServe Alliance is continuing work to get the problem resolved, he said.

The difficulties continue as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is set to begin accepting H-1B petitions on April 2. H-1B visas allow firms to bring in highly skilled individuals, such as information technology professionals.

For staffing firms, however, there has been difficulty bringing in workers on H-1B visas after the USCIS released the “Neufeld Memo” in 2010. The memo listed “third-party placement/job shop” as an example of a firm that does not qualify as an H-1B visa employer.

The TechServe Alliance filed suit against USCIS in 2010. The judge dismissed the case without issuing an injunction to prohibit the use of the memo, but the government did concede that staffing firms could be considered employers for the purposes of bringing in H-1B workers. Last year, opponents of the Neufeld Memo also got a boost when Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, weighed in against the memo.

However, problems remain. Roberts said staffing firms are bringing in H-1B workers, but they are seeing challenges.

“A staffing firm is almost assured of getting an RFE (request for evidence),” Roberts said. The may also have to produce a letter from the client—which some clients may do and some may not.

In addition, some U.S. consulates overseas are refusing to stamp visas for workers going to staffing firms despite clearance from the USCIS, he said. Workers can go back to the USCIS for reapproval, but the extra steps require more time and money. The also create uncertainty, creating a chilling effect for workers and staffing firm clients.

Filed by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management. To comment, email

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

HR Administration

Rest and lunch break laws in every US state

Summary Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks Some states have laws requiring meal and rest ...

workforce blog

Staffing Management

What is labor forecasting?

Summary Labor forecasting helps businesses determine where, when, what kind, and how many employees are...

demand forecasting, labor forecasting, labor modeling, staffing

workforce blog

Staffing Management

How staffing agencies can better manage a remote workforce

Summary As remote work continues its rise, modern workforce management technology is being adopted – st...

remote employees, scheduling, staffing, time and attendance management