USCIS’ Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Holds That Change in Work Location is a Material Change Requiring an Amended or New H-1B Petition
April 9, 2015
The AAO has issued a precedential decision (Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC) finding that a change in work location outside of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) covered by the Labor Condition Application (LCA) submitted with the initial H-1B petition is a material change in employment. Based on this holding, employers must now secure a new certified LCA and file an amended or new H-1B petition with USCIS when an H-1B worker moves to a work location outside of the MSA specified in the initial H-1B petition.
This new policy is effective immediately and replaces longstanding USCIS guidance indicating that an amended petition was not necessary where the employer had secured a certified LCA for the new work location prior to the H-1B worker’s change in worksite. Where an employer fails to file an amended or new H-1B petition to reflect an H-1B worker’s change in worksite, USCIS may seek to revoke approval of the prior petition. Accordingly, employers should contact their immigration service provider for legal advice in advance of any potential changes in work location – particularly if the new worksite is outside of the geographic area covered by the initial certified LCA and H-1B petition. In instances where an H-1B worker has already been moved to a new work location outside of the geographic area covered by the initial certified LCA and H-1B petition, it may be advisable to secure a certified LCA for the new work location(s) and file an amended H-1B petition immediately.