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USCIS Needs a Better Approach to Verify H-1B Visa Participants

Executive Summary

USCIS site visits provide minimal assurance that H-1B participants are compliant and not engaged in fraudulent activity. These visits assess whether petitioners and beneficiaries comply with applicable immigration laws and regulations. USCIS can approve more than 330,000 H-1B petitions each year, which could include extensions and amendments. As of April 2017, USCIS reported more than 680,000 approved and valid H-1B petitions. However, during FYs 2014–16, USCIS conducted an average of 7,200 ASVVP site visits annually. For the limited number of visits conducted, USCIS does not always ensure the IOs are thorough and comprehensive in their approach. Further limiting the site visits’ effectiveness, USCIS does not ensure the agency always takes proper and timely action when IOs identify potential fraud or noncompliance. USCIS also uses targeted site visits to respond to indicators of fraud; however, the agency does not completely track the costs and analyze the results of these visits.

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