August 16, 2011

H-1B Compliance Alert for H-1B Employees and Employers!!!

Worksite Surprise Visits on the Rise Again!

In January 2010, we wrote that the USCIS was conducting random worksite visits to ensure that H-1B employees were working as per the H-1B visa terms. One of the items USCIS is trying to verify is if the H-1B employee is actually employed with the sponsoring employer as described in the H-1B petition. Recently, we have heard from many of our clients, employed by both large and small employers, and other immigration colleagues that the USCIS has visited them unannounced. Needless to say, it is important that employees and employers are ready for these visits which usually include an interview with the employer’s representative, an interview with the employee, and a tour of the work facility.

Here are five steps you should take to prepare for and respond to a surprise visit to your workplace:

1. Review the H-1B petition filed by your employer to make sure your work locations, title, job duties, and wages are listed correctly. If not, contact your employer and lawyer immediately for further advice.

2. Have your attorney’s number available so you can call her immediately, before you begin your interview with the investigator. You are entitled to have your attorney present by phone or in person.

3. If you work at a location not controlled by your employer, contact the facility representative to let them know about the possibility of a site visit and advise them to contact you and your employer immediately in case of a surprise visit.

4. Ask your employer to contact the attorney who prepared the H-1B petition to help with a self-audit of their H-1B compliance files which are required for all employers.

5. Schedule a mock interview with your employer and attorney to prepare for a possible site visit so you can feel more comfortable if it does happen.

For more information or assistance in preparing for an unannounced worksite visit, you are invited to contact us at 469-916-7900 or email immigration@badmuslaw.com.