The US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ fraud unit, the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate, has announced its intention to up the number of visits made to the sites of L-1 US visa employers, i.e. those employers who hire foreign workers on both the L-1B US visas for employees with specialized knowledge and the L-1A US visas for executives and managers.
The decision to increase the amount of site visits is believed to have been made following the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security’s report from August 2013, which examined the L-1 US visa intra-company transfer scheme and made suggestions to both standardize the making of decisions and to cut down on incidents of fraud when L-1 US visa applications are under consideration.
Site audits are the responsibility of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and have sharply increased in frequency already over the course of the last three or four years. An estimated 30,000 sites will receive visits in order to determine the accuracy of information given during the L-1 US visa petition process. Anti-fraud operations in the United States were stepped up six years ago and the initiative is continuing to pick up steam.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services are taking a hard look at the L-1 US visa category, which has previously been given more freedom from stringent immigration compliance and reporting rules. Employers are not made aware they will be subject to a visit, which the government believes makes it easier to uncover examples of workplace fraud.