H-1B Site Visits: They’re Coming to Visit You

In nearly every H-1B petition, the petitioner is required to pay a $500 anti-fraud fee.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using the proceeds of these anti-fraud fees to investigate H-1B petitioners.  DHS is contracting with private investigators to make surprise visits, though they may provide advance notice if they so desire, to H-1B work sites.  These investigators are charged with verifying that the petitioning company is a real business entity operating as stated in the H-1B application and that the H-1B visa holder is a legitimate employee.

Therefore, it is imperative that each H-1B sponsor make sure that their filings are accurate.  If any amendments need to be made to reflect material changes in an already approved H-1B petition, such as change in work location or changes in job duties, the employer must timely file an H-1B amendment to reflect such changes.  Failure to take these duties responsibly can result in monetary penalties as well as criminal prosecution.