The Government Compliance Officer Is Knocking: H-1B FDNS Visits on the Rise
June 30, 2011
In a report posted last week, "USCIS Fraud Detection & National Security Directorate Answers dated June 7, 2011," the USCIS noted that in 2010, its Fraud Detection & National Security (FDNS) inspectors completed 14,433 site visits of H-1B employers. Interestingly, these thousands of site visits in 2010 yielded final fraud determinations of only 2%. Nevertheless, the government remains committed to these visits, funded by hefty H-1B petition anti-fraud filing fees. Generally, FDNS officers focus on confirming that the employer listed on the petition is the actual employer at the physical premises described under the underlying H-1B petition, and that the employee beneficiary is performing those duties listed at the site (s) described in the underlying H-1B visa petition. It can prove helpful, and shorten the length of time of the FDNS inspection to a mere perfunctory visit, for HR to be able to quickly summarize the number of active H-1B positions filled, and have general knowledge about the nature of the positions. HR should not be alarmed if the officer believes there are many more H-1B workers on site, because the officer may not have updated information about how many H-1B cases have been withdrawn due to termination or the employee obtaining lawful permanent residence. While there is no need to always call counsel during a visit, our Fall 2009 best practice tips for FDNS site visits are worth reviewing.