Investigators Checking on H-1B Visa Cases
Each year, thousands of people are approved for, and enter the United States with, an H-1B visa. They are very good ways for experienced and trained professionals to enter the U.S. and join the workforce here. They are very strictly monitored though. Since about August 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has done impromptu interviews at employers with H-1B employees. DHS will send an independent private investigator to one of the over 25,000 current H-1B employers scattered around the country, with the express purpose of investigating whether the H-1B employee is currently working for the employer, with the same exact job that was originally on the H-1B petition. For the most part, there is nothing to worry about with these visits, but it is important to know that they are completely random, and there is literally no way to predict when and where the investigators will show up. When the investigators do show up, they will follow the following procedure. The investigator will ask to speak to someone in human resources, and will ask them basic questions about their company, how many employees currently work there, and their business hours and locations. They will also ask how many employees currently have H-1B visas, how many have been sponsored for green cards, and the total number of employees with green cards. Rough estimates for these questions are generally accepted. The investigator usually then speaks with the H-1B visa holder privately, and asks them general questions about job title, duties, and wage. Visits from investigators are almost always brief and unobtrusive. They are generally very friendly people, and the best way to make sure things go smoothly is to tell them the absolute truth. If, however, you get the feeling that they are trying to trap you into an unfortunate answer, there is no reason you can’t ask them to wait, and call up your immigration attorney.