The USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit is responsible for conducting site visits of workplaces that sponsor foreign workers. These site visits are typically unannounced and are performed to ensure the compliance of the approved nonimmigrant worker petition of H1-B and L-1 workers. Since these visits are conducted without notice, it is best for both employers and employees to be prepared ahead of time and have a general idea of what to expect.
When an FDNS officer arrives for a site visit, the employer should ask to see the officer’s identification and USCIS credentials. The officer will wish to speak with the individual who signed the foreign employee’s petition. If the petitioner is unavailable, the officer will meet with another individual within the company that has authority. An officer will generally ask questions about the employer’s business, annual revenue and the number of employees at a particular location. An officer will also ask questions about the employee such as details of the position, duties and terms of employment. An employer may choose to have an attorney present. To do so, they must inform the officer and request additional time.
The FDNS officer will verify that the employee is in fact employed by the sponsor and will request proof. If the foreign worker is no longer employed by the company, the officer will also likely request verification. If the sponsor employs an H1-B employee, the officer may also request to examine the public access files.
During the site visit, the FDNS officer will also meet with the H1-B or L-1 employee. This is to confirm that the employment is consistent with the terms and conditions of the petition. The employee will need to produce valid identification and be able to speak in some detail about the position and their employment.
The FDNS officer will also check to verify that the address provided on the petition is that of the petitioning organization. To do so, the officer may take photographs of the premises, examine the company’s signage, speak with neighboring businesses and request a tour of the location. At the end of the visit, a recommendation will be made to decide whether further inquiry is appropriate.
During the visit, the company representative should be sure to take detailed notes. This includes the officer’s name, title and contact information; the names and titles of individuals that were interviewed; documents requested and provided to the officer; and any other information regarding the visit. It is crucial that employers prepare ahead of time to ensure FDNS site visits goes smoothly.
If you have questions on employment site visits, be sure to contact Berardi Immigration Law to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!