The USCIS has started sending investigators to the sites of employers who have secured an approved H-1B petition to verify that the facts presented in the petition were accurate and that the employee is being paid what the Labor Condition Application requires. The funds for these investigations come from the $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection fee that must be paid in connection with each new H-1B or L nonimmigrant petition.

The investigations range from the straightforward to the covert. In many instances, the investigators will arrive unannounced, request to speak with the relevant Human Resources representative and review the pertinent facts of the H-1B petition to ensure compliance. In other instances, the investigator may call the sponsored foreign national directly. The bottom line is that the USCIS seeks to determine if the sponsoring company is a real operating business and whether the foreign national is a "legitimate" employee working in the sponsored position and being paid the required wage. Employers who might have difficulty with such an audit should contact counsel immediately.