Mr. Bob White of the Masuda Funai’s Immigration Group recently attended a meeting with the Chief and Senior Management of the USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate in Washington, D.C. Mr. White is the Sub-Committee Chair for the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s (AILA) FDNS Liaison Sub- Committee.
During the meeting with FDNS, FDNS clarified its current Administrative Site Visit Verification Program (ASVVP). FDNS stated that approximately 20-25,000 H-1B petitions are randomly selected for site visits each year as part of the ASVVP program. Since its implementation on July 22, 2009, the program has completed approximately 36,000 site visits.
During the site visits, FDNS contractors collect information from employers, beneficiaries and the beneficiaries’ managers to confirm the information represented in the H-1B petition. The information collected by the FDNS contractor is then analyzed by an FDNS officer and at the USCIS’ Service Center. Of approximately 36,000 site visits, FDNS officers were not able to verify information contained in 11% of the petitions after the site visits. Approximately 2% of the 11% were referred to local FDNS officers for further investigation. The remaining 9% were referred to USCIS adjudications for the issuance of Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR). Of the cases referred for NOIRs, approximately 61% resulted in adverse actions, 11% had the initial approval reaffirmed, and 28% are still pending review.
FDNS stated that it will continue site visits as part of the H-1B program. Additionally, FDNS stated that in fiscal year 2012 (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012), it plans to have a super majority of site visits completed by FDNS officers instead of the contractors who are currently completing FDNS site visits.
FDNS stated that there has been discussion about expanding the site visit program to L-1 petitions. However, FDNS stated that this expansion is not imminent. Later this year, however, FDNS plans to begin to verify the bona fides of R-1 beneficiaries in addition to R-1 petitioners.
Additional information about the continued expansion and implementation of the FDNS ASVVP program will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.