As part of its stepped up effort to target employers who violate immigration laws, USCIS is conducting more worksite inspections, including those of H-1B employers. As part of their investigation, the inspector interviews both the employer and the H-1B employee.

A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association has written an account of one of these visits, which AILA posted on its website. The following is a summary of the attorney’s report posted on the AILA website, which should give you some insight as to what will happen if a government inspector shows up at your employer’s door:

The investigator called the company and specifically asked for its attorney. The attorney then called the investigator. The investigator said he was a private investigator working on behalf of the U.S. government. The investigator confirmed his inquiry was part of a DHS fraud detection program. He said the site visits normally are to be conducted without advance notice, but in this case he called first to make sure that he would not have any problems entering the business so as to conduct his inspection.

As part of his inquiry, the investigator said he was looking to verify: (1) whether the company is a real, operating business entity and (2) whether the H-1B employee being sponsored was a “legitimate” employee.

He said that USCIS was looking for two types of fraud: (1) a foreign worker who falsifies an application and claims to work for a company that he does not work for and/or (2) a company that is falsifying an application.

The investigator asked to meet the H-1B worker so as to verify he indeed was working there. He also wanted to talk with the company’s human resources officer to confirm the H-1B employee’s date of hire, title, work location, and salary information.

He said as part of his investigation he may also take photos of the company office building to prove that the company exists.

On a more general level, he explained the government’s worksite visits are focusing on religious organizations and employment-related petitioners. Investigations are being conducted in 28 cities throughout the United States and the companies were randomly selected. If an investigator uncovers any questionable activity, he is to turn the results of his investigation over the ICE and/or DHS.

The attorney said the investigator was “very professional and polite, and seemed interested only in obtaining the basic information listed above.”

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