The DOS recently indicated that its Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) has begun to audit filings in the H-1B program. The DOS has indicated that it has assigned contractors to randomly review H-1B filings forwarded to it by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for entry into its Program Information Management System (PIMS). Counselor officials are not allowed to issue H-1B visas unless they are able to verify the information being provided by H-1B applicants through the PIMS system. The DOS indicated that most of the audits by the FPU are completed telephonically. The FPU may contact employers and/or the employers’ client (if applicable) to verify information contained in the H-1B filing. Once the review is completed by the FPU, the FPUs findings are normally uploaded into the PIMS system and available to consular officials within two days. Consular officials are then instructed to review the report, question the H-1B applicant regarding any discrepancies, and request that the DOS’ Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) correct any information if a finding was in error. If the discrepancies highlighted by the FPU are not in error, the consular official will provide the KCC with additional information discovered during the nonimmigrant visa interview. It does not appear that the FPU is coordinating its audits with the USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit. For more information about the FDNS H-1B Audits is contained in our firm’s Immigration Alert at http://www.masudafunai.com/showarticle.aspx?show=5393. Therefore, employers could potentially be audited two times in order to verify information in their H-1B filing.
Additional information about audits in the H-1B program will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates as it becomes available.