The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regularly conducts on-site inspections of H-1B sponsoring employers as part of its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program. The objective of these unannounced on-site visits is to detect fraud and abuses of the H-1B visa program.
Immigration regulations require that the H-1B worker continue to work at all times as described, and under the same conditions, as listed in the petition. Therefore, departments should be able to confirm that the employee has always been paid the required prevailing wage, is performing the same work as described in the H-1B petition and is still working full time. Any changes in these employment conditions that have occurred after the filing of the initial H-1B petition require the filing of an H-1B amendment.
All H-1B Employees are provided with copies of H-1B petitions filed on their behalf. The employee should be able to accurately relay all information that was listed on the H-1B petition. This will include, salary, number of hours worked, job title, job duties and job requirements. HR/ the department’s administrator may also be asked to provide university records to verify the H-1B visa holder’s employment such as payroll records, job description and other employment records. If contacted by USCIS, we recommend that you provide the information that you have and contact ISSS for information regarding the H-1B petition.
During site visits, officials typically work from a standard list of questions. Officers commonly ask about the employer’s business; the worksite; the number of employees; whether the employer filed the immigration petition in question; whether the foreign national is actually employed by the employer; the foreign national’s position, job duties and salary; and the foreign national’s qualifications for the position, educational background, previous employment and immigration history, residence and dependents in the United States. The officer may also ask about the employer’s overall use of specific immigration programs. In addition to conducting interviews, the officer may ask to tour the employer’s premises, examine the foreign national’s work area, view payroll records and other documentation pertaining to the foreign national’s employment and take photos of the offices and buildings. The officer may not take pictures of any labs.
It is imperative that Temple University provides USCIS with any required information in a timely manner. Failure to pass an on-site inspection could result in significant penalties, including the inability to file future petitions. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ISSS.
Please notify ISSS immediately if there have been any recent changes to your H-1B employees’ employment situation or if a USCIS official visits your unit. ISSS may be contacted at (215) 204-7708 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISSS strongly recommends that departments and employees cooperate with the USCIS officials making the on-site visits. We also require that ISSS be notified as early as possible in the event a USCIS official does approach you to conduct an inspection.
Information for H-1B Employees
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regularly conducts random on-site inspections of H-1B sponsoring employers as part of its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program. The objective of these unannounced on-site visits is to detect fraud and abuses of the H-1B visa program. During the visits, USCIS will seek to confirm various aspects related to the employment of an identified foreign national, including the identity of the petitioning employer and visa beneficiary, as well as verifying compliance with the overall terms and conditions of the H-1B visa program.
In the event you are approached by a USCIS official conducting an unannounced site visit, it is very important that you keep in mind and follow a few general guidelines.
- Do not assume there is a problem with your case. Most employees are chosen at random.
- While most of the time I will contact you before the visit, it is possible that USCIS will simply come unannounced to your worksite.
- Once approached by a USCIS official, you should politely and immediately request that you be allowed to have someone sit with you during the interview (your PI/Supervisor is ideal, but anyone may serve as a witness). Advise the official that ISSS prepared and filed Temple’s H-1B paperwork on your behalf, and, accordingly, that we may be able to provide additional information.
- Next, you should answer the very basic questions the official may have regarding your employment. Examples of some general information that you should be prepared to provide the official include: providing photo identification, confirming details provided in an employee’s H-1B petition and confirming/inspecting the work location for the given employee. Some typical questions you may be asked are:
- What is your job title?
- What is your salary?
- How many hours do you work?
- What are your job duties?
- Explain your qualifications for the position.
- If the USCIS official asks you a question that you are not certain how to answer, or a question that would require reviewing TU records (i.e., payroll records or job descriptions) let the official know that you do not have that information. If they require the information in order to complete the visit then refer the official to your department administrator.
- Be sure to contact ISSS after the interview; be sure to relay the details of the visit.
Please notify ISSS immediately if there have been any recent changes to your employment situation (e.g., title, duties, salary, job location, or hours worked) or if a USCIS official visits your unit. ISSS may be contacted at (215) 204-7708 or email@example.com. Also, visit our website at isss.temple.edu
TU strongly recommends that departments and employees cooperate with the USCIS officials making the on-site visits. We also require that ISSS be notified as early as possible in the event a USCIS official does approach you to conduct an inspection.