The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”), as a division of Homeland Security, is paying rapt attention to foreign workers and companies who are sponsoring them due to concerns about fraud, exploitation and illegal entry into the country.
The USCIS has site inspectors who check up on many foreign workers and their sponsoring companies, showing up unannounced to interview them about the sponsored job positions and the companies.
They can ask to speak to the foreign worker or to any representative of the sponsoring company, so it pays to train your people how to receive these visits and to whom questions should be directed on behalf of the company.
At a minimum, you should know that there are 10 questions site inspectors will seek to answer for the USCIS in their reports:
- Does the company facility listed in any foreign worker application appear to be that of the sponsoring organization?
- Was an organizational representative present and willing to speak, and if not, were there neighboring residents available who were familiar with the business or the sponsored foreign worker?
- Did the results of the site visit suggest the presence of a legitimate business?
- Did the organization have knowledge of the beneficiary and the petition filed on behalf of the beneficiary?
- Was the beneficiary (the sponsored foreign worker) working for the organization?
- Were you able to identify and speak to the beneficiary?
- Was the beneficiary knowledgeable, cooperative and forthcoming with answers?
- Was the beneficiary being paid the salary as indicated in their sponsoring petition?
- Was the beneficiary performing the duties as indicated?
- On the basis of the site visit, do you recommend further inquiry?
If your human resources professionals and other company representatives are not trained in how to respond to a site visit, it could be very costly for you and for your sponsored worker. For more information on how to prepare for site visits and how to deal with sponsorship of foreign workers generally, call our offices at (847) 564-0712.