Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program
USCIS started the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program in July 2009 as an additional way to verify information in certain visa petitions. Under this program, Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officers make unannounced visits to collect information as part of a compliance review.
What is a compliance review?
A compliance review verifies whether petitioners and beneficiaries are following the immigration laws and regulations that are applicable in a particular case. This process includes researching information in government systems, reviewing public records and evidence accompany the petition, and interviewing the petitioner and beneficiary. It also includes conducting site visits.
Participating in a site visit is voluntary, but strongly encouraged
At any point, if the petitioner or beneficiary expresses an unwillingness to participate, the site inspector will terminate the visit. The inspector will complete the report using the data available and indicate that the site visit was terminated at the request of the petitioner or beneficiary. The compliance review will include a follow-up with the petitioner and beneficiary by phone, fax or email.
Types of petitions subject to site visits
As of fiscal year 2014, FDNS conducts compliance-review site visits on:
- Religious worker petitions (before and after adjudication)
- H-1B petitions (after adjudication)
- L-1 petitions (after adjudication)
How site visits are chosen
FDNS conducts site visits on randomly selected petitioners after USCIS adjudicates their petitions, and on all religious worker petitioners before adjudication.
Site inspector tasks
- Verify the information, including supporting documents, submitted with the petition;
- Verify that the petitioning organization exists;
- Review public records and information on the petitioning organization;
- Conduct unannounced site visits to where the beneficiary works;
- Take photographs;
- Review documents;
- Interview personnel to confirm the beneficiary’s work location, physical workspace, hours, salary and duties; and
- Speak with the beneficiary.
Site inspectors record their observations on a Compliance Review Report. The report is then reviewed by their supervisor and the USCIS Vermont or California service center to determine whether the petitioner and the beneficiary meet eligibility requirements.
Site inspectors are not adjudicators and do not make decisions on petitions or applications for immigration benefits.
How employers should prepare for a potential site visit
Before a site visit: Employers should be prepared to present any information originally submitted with the petition. The site inspector may also request additional information relevant to the petition.
During the site visit: Employers should immediately provide any readily available documents and information that the site inspector requests.
After the site visit: Employers should provide all additional information requested in any follow-up communication from USCIS.
Why some employers receive repeated site visits
Each post-adjudication compliance review focuses on one petition and beneficiary. Therefore, employers who petition for many beneficiaries have a higher chance of being randomly selected for multiple site visits.
What happens after a site visit?
After completing the inquiry, an FDNS officer will document the findings in a Compliance Review Report, which becomes part of the record. If the report contains indicators of fraud, USCIS will then assess whether further investigation is warranted. Depending on the evidence, FDNS may refer the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.