In response to a September 2008 assessment report which concluded that 20 percent of the reviewed H-1B petitions contained fraud or technical violations, USCIS has stepped up its monitoring and review of H-1B petitions through its Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS).
FDNS is charged with detecting, deterring and combating immigration benefit fraud. FDNS shares information and collaborates with other governmental agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In addition to its approximately 650 immigration officers, research specialists and analysts, FDNS contracts with private investigation firms to conduct site visits on behalf of FDNS.
USCIS recently announced, and companies have reported, an increase in site visits by USCIS to employers petitioning for temporary work visas on behalf of employees. These site visits encompass visits to the employer’s principal place of business and the nonimmigrant’s work location. Additionally, the USCIS Vermont Service Center has indicated that it recently transferred approximately 20,000 H-1B cases to FDNS for further review and possible site inspection. The USCIS California Service Center has likely transferred another 20,000 H-1B cases to FDNS for review and inspection.
For more information regarding FDNS site visits, steps you can take to prepare for such a visit and what you should do during a visit, please see our article on preparing for H-1B site visits.