Mithras Law Group Immigration Blog

Global Immigration and Business Solutions

Did You Know You Could be Randomly Audited by USCIS Site Visit Assessors if you are an H-1B Visa Employer?

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In an effort to increase its anti-fraud enforcement efforts, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been sending out its assessors to make “surprise audit visits” to the the U.S. work sites of companies that sponsor  H-1B and L-1 visa-holders. The USCIS assessors/auditors visit the workplace with a checklist of questions to confirm identity of the employer who sponsored the visa beneficiary and to verify that both the employer and the employee are in compliance with the regulations and conditions of the visa.

A USCIS spokesperson confirmed that the agency has begun conducting random on-site inspections as part of the expansion of its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program, which was launched at the beginning of this fiscal year.

What is concerning is that the USCIS, unlike the Department of Labor, lacks any statutory authority to investigate an employers’ compliance to the sponsored visa obligations by entering an employer’s workplace. Although, employers’ co-operation to the site visit assessors is not obligatory, but, the point is,  not many employers are  aware of this.

While putting an end to abuses of the visa programs is important and crucial, a random audit by an agency, that is not authorized to do so by a statute, seems unfair and an arbitrary tactic that may backfire on the USCIS.

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Written by MithrasLaw

August 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm

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