USCIS Clarifies When Amended H-1B Petition Is Required
On April 9, 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of the USCIS issued a precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, Inc., in which it pronounced a new rule regarding when an amended H-1B petition must be filed. The AAO determined that any time an employer changes an H-1B employee’s worksite in such a way that a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) must be filed with the Department of Labor, USCIS will expect the employer to file an H-1B amendment. Prior USCIS guidance was exactly the opposite, so this new decision reflects a policy reversal by USCIS. There are limited exceptions to when an LCA is required, so not all changes in location will require an amendment, and there are other details of this decision that are still being debated and discussed. The best course is for employers to notify immigration counsel any time a change in worksite location is contemplated for an H-1B employee and before any such change occurs.