US CIS Announces On-Site H-1B Inspections

US CIS plans 25,000 on-site H-1B inspections.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) has announced plans to significantly step up its H-1B enforcement efforts by conducting approximately 25,000 on-site H-1B inspections. The is a major increase in inspections from the approximately 5000 site visits during the last fiscal year. This tougher enforcement is in response to a study conducted by US CIS that found fraud and other violations in as many as one out of every five H-1B petitions.

According to a letter from Alejandro Mayorkas (Director of US CIS) to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the agency began a site visit and verification program in July 2009 to check on the validity of H-1B petitions. According to Mr. Mayorkas's letter, the program determines "whether the location of employment actually exists and if a beneficiary is employed at the location specified, performing the dutis as described, and paid the salary as identified in the petition".

As part of the enforcement effort, Mr. Mayorkas hired Dunn and Bradstreet, Inc. to act as "an independent information provider" to help verify information submitted by companies hiring H-1B workers. Senator Grassley, a co-sponsor of legislation to increase H-1B program enforcement, said in a statement earlier this month "if employers are hiring visa holders without actual jobs lined up, American workers are losing out. Employers must be held accountable, and should be required to submit contracts and itineraries to prove that a job exists. Simply having them attest that they are complying with the law isn't good enough."

Categories: Immigration Blog