Certain technology is controlled by our Government and restricted for importing to other countries. The Commerce and State Depratments issue licenses for such exports. This rule has long been in the books, but was not really enforced. Suddenly in December of 2010, the new I-129 form came in, and the form included questions about deemed export for H-1B, H1B1,L-1 and O-1A.
The employer has to first ascertain what the beneficiary’s citizenship country is. Then ascertain what technology the beneficiary has access to. If the employer needs a license from the Department of commerce/State to export that technology to that person’s country, then the employer has to first get the license before filing the H-1B, or deny access to the person until such license is obtained.
For large Computers Systems, usually source code is controlled, not onject code. Also sophisticated networking systems and encryptions are usually controled.
There are two types of Deemed Export regulations: the Export Adnimistration Regulations administered by the Department of Commerce, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, administered by the Department of State. More information on these can be found at:
To get the license for nationals from countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, China and Libya is very difficult.
The penalties for violation of this law is severe. And ICE will audit employers. Civil penalties range is either $250,000 or twice the gain from the particular technology. Criminal pelalties range from upto 1 million USD, and upto 20 years prison term.
There is of course no prior evidence that anyone on H-1B ever exported any technology back home. But, Immigration is fast becoming a huge cash cow for the Government. We love to hate immigrants, and make employers who hire immigrants pay severe penalties. And in the process we will loose our competitive edge to other countries.