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, immigration officers in the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) make unannounced site visits to collect information as part of a compliance review.
What is a compliance review?
Immigration officers conduct compliance reviews to ensure that petitioners (employers) and beneficiaries (job applicant or other potential employee) follow the terms and conditions of their petitions. This process includes reviewing the petition and supporting documents, researching information in public records and government systems, and, where possible, interviewing the petitioner and beneficiary through unannounced site visits.
Participating in a site visit is voluntary, but strongly encouraged
Participation in the compliance review process is voluntary. FDNS immigration officers will end a site visit if a petitioner or beneficiary expresses an unwillingness to participate. When this happens, the FDNS immigration officer will complete the compliance review by using all available information and will document the circumstances of around ending the site visit.
Types of petitions subject to site visits
As of fiscal year 2019, FDNS conducts compliance-review site visits on petitions for:
- Special immigrant religious workers petitions (before and after adjudication);
- H-1B nonimmigrant temporary visas (after adjudication);
- L-1 nonimmigrant intracompany transferee executive or manager visas (after adjudication); and
- EB-5 immigrant investor program visas (before adjudication)
How USCIS chooses site visits
FDNS randomly selects petitioners for site visits after USCIS adjudicates their petitions. FDNS also conducts site visits for all religious worker petitioners before adjudication.
Immigration officer tasks
Officers record their observations on a Compliance Review Report. Officers occasionally conduct multiple site visits if they need more information to complete a compliance review. At the site visit, the officer will:
- 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.
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 immigration officer may also may ask for more information relevant to the petition.
During the site visit: Employers should immediately provide all readily available documents and information that the immigration officer requests.
After the site visit: Employers should provide all additional information that USCIS requests in any follow-up communication.
Why some employers receive repeated site visits
Employers might receive more than one site visit if they petition for more than one beneficiary. Each compliance review focuses on one petition and beneficiary. FDNS will randomly select such employers for multiple site visits.
What happens after a site visit?
Because FDNS immigration officers are not adjudicators, they do not make decisions on petitions or applications for immigration benefits. USCIS will review an officer’s Compliance Review Report for any indicators of fraud or noncompliance, and, FDNS may refer the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for criminal investigation.