Digging Deeper:

No Enforcement Role for U.S. Department of Labor



The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has no defined enforcement role regarding the F-1 visa program.  To be sure, the lack of any wage-based regulations or labor certification process for the F-1 program leaves USDOL with little to enforce in that arena.  In other nonimmigrant visa programs, companies that violate the labor certification process may face stiff penalties.  Obviously, F-1 employers who do not need to meet those labor market tests are not included within that enforcement regime. If an F-1 student worker claims that there has been a violation of federal minimum wage laws, though, USDOL may get involved as the agency charged with enforcing those laws if they apply.