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USCIS to Significantly Increase Employer Site Visits

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

As part of its H-1B “anti-fraud” initiatives, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) conducted 5,191 site visits the previous fiscal year.  In a recent letter to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the USCIS informed that in the current fiscal year (October 1, 2009-September 30, 2010), there will be 25,000 H-1B employer site visits.  The letter further states that the fraud investigation officers will make surprise visits to H-1B employers’ offices and/or even client locations where an H-1B employee is stationed.  Based on the experience of several H-1B employers, it is evident that the officers typically ask questions about the H-1B petition, salary information, ask to see actual work station of the employee, job title and functions, supervising person’s information, if employee is available, interview the employee, and ask to take photographs of inside and outside of the work location or employer’s offices.  It is suggested that employers cooperate with the investigating officers in a reasonable manner. 

The said letter to the Senator also refers to the fact that USCIS contracted with Dunn & Bradstreet as independent information provider.  D&B will provide information the adjudicating officers seek in relation to adjudicating H-1B petitions.  It might also include L-1 and other employment-based petitions although the letter does not specifically address the L-1 category.  The officers will primarily access D&B and other commercially available resources in performing background checks on the employers, including but not limited to, financial viability of employers, number of employees, and other pertinent information.  

At this time, it is prudent for employers sponsoring work visas to obtain a copy of the D&B report to ensure that the information contained in the report reflects the accurate information about their companies. 

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