Surprise Site Visits for L-1 Employers Expected


Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), a faction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), confirmed recently in a stakeholder teleconference that the FDNS plans to start making surprise visits to employers of L-1 nonimmigrants under the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP). FDNS inspectors currently make unannounced visits under the ASVVP to petitioners and beneficiaries in marriage petitions, as well as certain employment-based petitions, such as H-1B petitions.  

The first phase of the new endeavor will focus on L-1A extension petitions filed with USCIS. USCIS has also confirmed that it will be completing a pilot program and inspector training by the end of FY 2014. L-1 site visits will be conducted randomly, as are other ASVVP visits, and selection will be based on data gathered from Form I-129. USCIS plans to ultimately include L-1 Blanket applicants in ASVVP, but for now details on these visits are unclear as L-1 Blanket applicants do not file Form I-129 with USCIS.

Some of the areas that inspectors will focus on during the site visits include:

  • Whether the business actually exists and is “in business”;
  • Whether the signatory on the petition has knowledge of the petition and the beneficiary;
  • Whether the beneficiary is working and available for interview;
  • Whether the beneficiary is performing the same duties as represented in the petition; and
  • Whether the beneficiary is being paid the salary as indicated in the petition.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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