An immigration audit at a company that has employees with H-1B and L-1 status, especially with multiple visa holders, is likely to catch the attention of the USCIS, as it recently announced its intention to take “a more targeted approach” when it comes to corporate site visits. Quite simply, this means that companies should have a corporate immigration audit plan in place.
Immigration audit plan
If the right elements go into the plan, you’ll be able to handle an immigration audit if and when it happens at your company. The plan for a site visit should begin long before the actual visit since it has to involve multiple personnel and requires a level of organization to ensure everything runs smoothly. Your goal is to keep things running smoothly and have everything in order (including your processes).
Communicate with personnel
Your plan should take into consideration all the sites with H-1B or L-1 visa holders. These are the sites that will be visited should one of your employees be selected for a compliance audit, and you’ll need to be prepared. Once you know every site to focus on, you should choose a point person for each of those sites. That person will be the one who will greet the official from FDNS when he or she arrives at the office. Make sure this person’s responsibilities are logged and communicated clearly to him or her, to minimize confusion. You should also name a secondary point of contact in case the primary point person is out of the office in the event of an immigration audit. The secondary contact should be just as informed about the audit processes as the main POC. And, everyone in the office should be aware of who the main and backup points of contact are, so any employee who happens to greet the official knows what to do.
Make sure all your documentation is in order and contact your attorney once you’ve put together your immigration audit plan. It’s important to get council on this to make sure that your attorney knows you’re prepared and can advise you on anything you may have missed in the planning process. Since immigration audits are random and unannounced, you’ll want to be ready and avoid raising suspicions of noncompliance that could lead to further review of your case.
Read our full Immigration Audit checklist here. And for more detailed information on audit compliance, watch our on-demand webinar, Best Compliance Practices.