What is a USCIS Site Visit?
Immigration fraud now accounts for 52% of all federal criminal prosecutions. USCIS is getting more vigilant as a result, and site visits are one tool they use to help detect fraudulent immigration applications.
Usually, when we’re talking about site visits, we’re talking about one of two types of visits: employer site visits and home site visits. Here’s what you need to know.
Employer Site Visits
Employers who rely on a large number of H-1B workers should expect the occasional visit under the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program. These visits are random and unannounced.
You aren’t obligated to allow the Fraud Detection and National Security (FNDS) officer into your place of business, but it’s usually in your best interest to do so. They will want to verify that the employee is still present and actively working for your operation. They want evidence you’re running a legitimate business, as well.
For legitimate employers, these visits are relatively routine. Suppose you think any part of your operation might give an FNDS officer pause. In that case, it’s a good idea to sit down with an immigration lawyer to determine whether a genuine problem exists and, if so, how to rectify it.
Home Site Visits
Sometimes USCIS sends FNDS to the home of a married couple in the middle of an I-130 petition. This is often a sign that they suspect the marriage may be fraudulent.
Be aware they’ll often come well before 8:00 in the morning because that can help them check and see whether the spouses are sharing a bed.
They are looking for signs that you and your spouse share a home and sleep in the same bed. They may look to see whether you have roommates and what photos may be on the wall. They may even check your medicine cabinets or closets to see whether both of you have medications or clothes in the home.
Even if you aren’t home, they will find something to investigate: you can be sure they’ll talk to your neighbors too.
What should you do if this happens? You can refuse the visit, but you might not want to.
Assuming you’re in a bona fide marriage, you will want to walk them around and show them anything you can show them that helps support that fact. Let them look at the prescriptions, the clothes, and the shared breakfast. If one spouse is at work, when they show up, make time to return home. They usually don’t send FNDS out unless they suspect fraud, so do whatever you can to set their minds at ease.
Need help with your immigration case?
As USCIS continues to crack down on fraud, it will become more necessary than ever to work closely with an immigration attorney throughout the application process. While we certainly do not ever advocate engaging in immigration fraud, we can help you identify potential problems so that you can deal with them long before an FNDS officer arrives.
Contact Hykel Law to schedule an appointment today.
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Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.
Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.
Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.