Virginia, US

Sep 25 2017

Unannounced Workplace Inspections Causing Immigration Issues


The situation

National Immigration Institute (INM) being denied access to employers’ buildings to conduct inspections.

A closer look

There have been multiple reports of private security guards not allowing National Immigration Institute (INM) officials on company premises when the INM attempts to conduct a workplace inspection. This is occurring because these visits are unannounced and the officials do not have an appointment with a company representative.

This is particularly frequent in corporate buildings that share a common front desk in the lobby where security officials have instructions to not allow unannounced visitors.

Consequences for employers and foreign nationals

INM officials are leaving worksites without conducting inspections and are recording findings that the company does not exist at the site. Based on this, the following is occurring:

  • INM freezes the company’s Corporate Registration Certificates, which results in a suspension of any immigration processes filed on behalf of the company until the certificate is unfrozen. In order to unfreeze a Corporate Registration certificate, a company needs to request a new site inspection, which can take four to eight weeks.

  • The INM does not approve any new visa or work permit applications that have been filed on behalf of the company until a  successful site visit is conducted.

  • Work permit and visa renewals are being delayed until a new site visit is conducted and Corporate Registration Certificates are unfrozen.

  • Foreign nationals traveling to Mexico under company-sponsored work visas are facing increased scrutiny at the port of entry and even denied entry based on INM officials’ discretionary powers.

What employers can do to prevent this

Employers should instruct building administration and security personnel that INM officials should be allowed into the building upon their request to deliver a formal notice of inspection to a company representative. This formal notice of inspection will typically state that the site visit will be conducted in 24 hours at the company’s registered address.

Companies that have been notified of an inspection should immediately contact their immigration professional to arrange for attorney representation during the inspection.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to