USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit is expanding and will soon begin L-1A site inspections. In FY2011, FDNS performed about 17,000 site visits primarily involving R-1 and H-1B work sites. These inspections were a result from perceived program abuse. The visits are random and unannounced pre and post-adjudication to verify information contained in the petition such as: does the business exist, is it viable, does the petitioner know about the filing of the petition, and is the beneficiary working for the business among others.
The visits last between 30 and 90 minutes and involve interviews with the petitioner and the beneficiary, and a review of documents. The FDNS officer will use the information gathered to determine whether the review is “verified” or “not verified”. These visits should be taken seriously. A “not verified” finding is likely to result in the issuance of a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to revoke (NOIR).
The visits are expected to begin with sites involving L-1A extension petitions. In preparation, employers should conduct an internal review of their L-1 files and ensure compliance with the information contained in the petition; identify procedures to follow in case of visit; and contact your immigration attorney for guidance and assistance.