Employers should take note of a recent policy change from the USCIS affecting H-1B employee work location changes. The USCIS changed the required filing process for when an H-1B employee changes work locations outside the area of intended employment. If any of your employees have changed work locations since the most recent H-1B filing, you may need to file an amended petition.
It is important to note that this new policy change is retroactive, which means if any of your H-1B employees have changed work locations since the most recent H-1B filing, an amended H-1B petition MUST be filed. Failure to do so can result in penalties such as fines and debarment from the H-1B program.
All amended petitions MUST be filed before August 19, 2015.
If there is an upcoming work location change for an employee, which is outside the area of intended employment, the move CAN NOT take place until the amended I-129 petition is filed. Employers can no longer file just an updated Labor Condition Application (LCA).
What should my company do?
- Review any H-1B employees who have made work location changes since their most recent H-1B filing.
- Request copies of the employee’s most recent H-1B petition.
- Audit the petitions and determine if the employee’s work location change is outside the area of intended employment. This is generally an area of normal commuting distance. It is a good idea that you perform this audit because more often than not, work location changes are not communicated to us, making it difficult for us to determine which petitions need to be amended.
- For any work location changes that are outside the area of intended employment, an amended I-129 petition must be filed before August 19, 2015.
- And going forward, review your company procedures and policies change procedures where necessary to ensure work H-1B employee work location changes are properly filed going forward.
If you have any questions about this change, or filing amended H-1B petitions, please contact Visawolf and we can help.