When an FDNS inspector appears at the employer premises, he or she will likely ask to speak with the human resources manager or the company official who signed the H-1B petition. During an FDNS site visit, the inspector is typically charged with verifying the existence of the employer, the validity of the information the employer provided in the petition, and whether the foreign national is working in compliance with the terms of the approval. FDNS may ask to take photographs of the facility to verify its existence, and interview the beneficiary, and supervisors or other personnel to confirm the details of the beneficiary’s physical work area, hours, salary, and duties. Site visits typically take less than one hour and often take significantly less time. The inspectors may also ask for pay stubs or W-2s and may ask questions regarding the rate of pay, title, and job duties in order to compare that information with the information reflected in the petition and supporting letter. If an FDNS investigator asks questions that are beyond the scope of the petition or would require internal research, it is okay to ask for additional time to respond. If follow-up is required, it is important that the employer quickly respond with the requested information or documentation to ensure that the “Compliance Review Report” can be completed by the inspector in a timely manner.
If at any point the employer or the employee is unwilling to continue, FDNS should end the inspection. However, the inspector will likely complete the Compliance Review Report based only on the information that was gathered before the inspection was terminated and will indicate that the interview was terminated upon request. FDNS may follow-up at a later time.
The following are some common red flags for site investigators: (1) The beneficiary’s salary in pay statements does not match the amount stated in the petition. (2) Reported income on the beneficiary’s IRS Form 1040 does not match the beneficiary’s salary, or the beneficiary reports as “self-employed.” (3) The address of the beneficiary’s work location in the petition is not an actual work site. (4) Virtual offices or empty offices without equipment are listed as the beneficiary’s place of employment. (5) The beneficiary lacks a work email or work phone number.