As an H-1B employer, the University of Vermont (UVM) may be subject to unannounced in-person visits by an officer in the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition to in-person visits, FDNS may also contact UVM by phone or email. The purpose of these visits is to collect information in order to verify that both UVM and the employee are following the terms and conditions of the H-1B petition.
The FDNS officer may visit the Office of International Education (OIE) for this information but it is more likely that they will appear without advance notice at the employee’s work location or the hiring department’s office. Although these visits can be surprising, they are routine and should not be a cause for alarm. In fact, FDNS randomly selects petitions after case approvals.
At the site visit, the officer may:
- Verify the information, including supporting documents, submitted with the petition;
- Verify that the petitioning organization exists;
- Review public records and information on the petitioning organization;
- Take photographs;
- Review documents;
- Interview department personnel to confirm the beneficiary’s work location, physical workspace, hours, salary and duties;
- Speak with the H-1B employee.
Please cooperate with FDNS officers regarding the above types of requests for information. Failure to cooperate fully could result in revocation of the H-1B petition or compromise UVM’s likelihood of success in future filings.
Below are recommendations if you are subject to a site visit by a FDNS officer:
- Ask to see their badge or other identification. Write down the officer’s name and ID number, and/or take a photograph of the badge.
- Request a copy of their business card.
- Inform the officer that, per UVM protocol, you need to contact the Office of International Education immediately.
- Contact UVM Office of International Education (OIE) and ask to speak with the Director, the Associate Director or the International Scholar Advisor. We will assist you in responding, and will also notify UVM Compliance Services and/or UVM General Counsel as outlined in UVM’s Government Reviews policy.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question or need additional time and help to provide requested documents, let the officer know.
- Copy InternationalScholars@uvm.edu on any emails.
As a reminder, changes to the terms and conditions of H-1B employment may require the filing of an H-1B amended petition. Please contact InternationalScholars@uvm.edu if you have any questions.