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Monday, February 13, 2012

Beware of surprise USCIS Site Visit and Approved H1B Visa getting Revoked

H1B Inspectors are coming, get ready for unannounced USCIS site visits. USCIS is conducting site visit as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s stepped-up enforcement efforts that include increased audits of businesses to detect immigration and labor law violations.

USCIS announced back in Nov, 2009 about plans to conduct 25,000 unannounced visits by the Fraud Detection and National Security Division (FDNS) of USCIS. The FDNS division is using contractors and private investigators to conduct approximately 25,000 site visits to petitioners.

In addition to verifying the validity of information contained in H-1B Visa petitions, FDNS investigators will use the information collected during worksite visits to help USCIS in detecting fraud. FDNS investigators collect information about companies/employers and how they maintain H1B records. It will help to identify any fraudulent activities.

USCIS Site Visits – What happens

As part of the USCIS (FDNS) site visits, H-1B employee may be asked about

  • job title, duties and responsibilities, employment dates, and location of work
  • position requirements
  • academic background
  • previous employment experience
  • current address
  • dependents, if any
  • who paid for H1B Visa process

H1B Visa Revoked

I read following experience about approved H1B Visa being revoked during surprise USCIS site visit.

I have an approved H1-B petition. But I am currently on my L1-B and haven’t yet converted to H1. I intended to continue with my L1 until I get something good.

However today morning I got a surprise visit from USCIS. There were 2 officers and they had questioned me for about 2 hours. I must admit, I goofed up a bit as I wasn’t prepared.

Their questions include like:
1. Why Haven’t I switched to H1 yet?
2. If I plan to switch to my H1 now?
3. Do I suspect anything fraud about my sponsor?
4. Have I paid any money?

After all this conversation they informed that my H1 petition will be revoked. They didn’t give any clear answers on the reason. But said that I/my employer would get the notice and that would have all the information.

I am not sure how that would impact and what are the options I have! They did reply saying that this shouldn’t impact my current status as I havent yet accepted my H1 status.

But I am not sure of this and is unaware of the options that I have. Also I would be applying for a fresh L1 later this year. I am not sure if that would also be impact because of this. – Source

Do you need to be worried

It depends on how you received H1B visa and many other factors. Most likely your immigration attorney should have informed your employer. Just in case, it’s good idea to inform your HR about possible USCIS Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program.

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