Pre-Approved Labor Scam:
there were growning number of pre-approved labor scam. do not rely on anyones words that they can substitute the preapproved labor for you. it may not be suitable for you or they actually do not have one.
take several precaution before falling into their traps:
1. try to get everything in writing in paper or email. most of the telephone conversation will not stand in the court. if the company tries to avoid giving anything in writing or communicating in email then its not safe for anything.
2. you have to see the original labor (most companies would not accept). atleast you have to request that company to forward the originial to your lawyer. let YOUR lawyer match the skill set and analyze the propabilities. do not trust the offering companies words in any way for this pre approved labor. they may not be the right person to assess the possibilities. if they dont have the original labor then either they dont have one or its been used by someone else. do not fall for any tricks in this. no sensible person will leave a company jeopardizing their green card unless there is an issue with the company (the only genuine reason the company can claim is due to layoff but unfortunately they cannot use that labor if there was any layoff for certain period of time - check with your lawyer).
3. question them how they have the pre approved labor. it can be for genuine also. most of the scammers tries to subsititute the labor with another (knowingly or unknowingly) for any reason good or intential profits. be aware that a company cannot substitute a labor when the primary benefiaries i140 is approved and as crossed 180days of filing his/her i485 (irrespective of whether that employee is still employed with them or not). some companies have pre approved labor because the original beneficiaries i140 would have been rejected due to inability to pay by the startup companies or due to labor or immigration violations by the company. get all your questions answered in writing in paper or email ONLY.
4. labor substitution cases are more riskier than rir categories. these cases are scrutinized for everything. these cases were typically very risky in the areas like california, new jersey, new york, delaware, boston, chicago, atlanta.
5. whether for greencard or not - never ever trust anyone by words. you need to have proof of everything in paper or email to claim charges if you have been deceived later.
6. do not trust any official communications who use free or phonic email address. this email communications are hard to prove against those scam in the court (but it is possible and very hard). this not only applies for preapproved labor scenarios but for employment or recruitment or initial discussion also.
7. do not offer or accept to pay for the preapproved labor. there were more number of scams to initially get labor cost from originial beneficiary and then keep on using it for another person in the name of preapproved labor for more profits (may be they get more money than getting profits from billing rate of those candidates in this market). try to avoid companies asking the cost of preapproved labor: it mostly is a scam - a) either the original beneficiary would have paid for it (then why should you pay for it again) b) a company would itself have paid for it (they why it expects the cost from you when it did not ask from original beneficiary).
8. scammer use several tricks and nice words to convince. whatever it is. do not fall prey to it. get everything in writing.
9. be very cautious and do not go for options coming TO YOU or from unknown sources or from free or public forumns.
10. check the h1 or greencard labor cases in http://www.flcdatacenter.com (even if the case shows up it doesnt mean its available or suitable for substitution)
get everything in writing in paper or email. consult with your own lawyer. do not agree to pay for anything. all these scams will end in great disaster for potential candidates. company would also get affected - either debar them from immigration benefits with huge fines etc. but most affected person is the employee for a long time due to the fraud and violations of the companies. try to start from your own labor or use various precaution to use preapproved labor. its better to stay out for 1 year and reenter on fresh h1 and then start greencard again than looking for preapproved labor or joining startup or abusive companies.
irrespective of what ever legal visa status one is in, it is their moral responsibility to safe guard this country and be concerned for its prosperity and clean the society from this kind of abusive scams. be alert - stay alert - know your rights - respect and abide the law even if your company does not (it will surely help you later).
Virtual OFFICE Scam:
in addition to pre-approved labor scams there were growing number of virtual office scams to take advantage of the processing times mainly in areas like vermont, maine, wyoming, montana, north dakota, south dakota, new mexico. labor filed in these states will be scrutinized even more due to suspectable fraud unless its been filed by well reputed organizations. do your homework - can you find atleast one technical or similar job requirement from those states atleast one every month consecutively for 3 months?
uscis and department of labor is well aware of such scams and has been making personal visit to those so-called branch offices to check the legitimacy. if the investigators finds that if there were no such offices or is in residential address then the labor is at jeopardy.
if virtual office scam is proved at a later stage (even after labor approval) then:
1. those labor will be revoked by dol for fraud
2. all the i140 and i485 based on those labor will be denied due to fraud
3. uscis may have the right to revoke the approved green card also.
4. grey area: not sure how its going to impact if the applicant uses ac21.
dol checks to see the legitimacy of the branch office in several ways:
1. to ensure that the branch office is not opened just for the sake for fast processing time
2. the branch office should have some kind of real local operation or business creating some revenue
not sure if the dol checks for the incorporation details in those branch offices (but uscis request for incorporation details from startups and other suspectable consulting firms).
an applicant like you can check the incorporation details (all branch offices will be registered as foreign corporations) from the respective state links from http://www.startupbiz.com/Info_by_State/State_Links.htm
if the prospective company is not listed in the appropriate state corporation search page then expect the labor gets rejected or uscis revoke the greencard any time in the future due to this virtual office scam which is no fault of yours.
.....more to be added