In 2003, USCIS informally communicated that a change of location does not require an amended H-1B petition, so long as the employer filed a Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the new location, posted the required Notice of Filing at the new location and otherwise complied with wage and hour laws before the employee was moved.  On April 9, 2015, USCIS’ Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) issued a precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, which held that employers must file amended H-1B petitions for many changes of locations.

In May 21, 2015, USCIS issued a guidance document on this issue, which it finalized on July 21, 2015 (click here to read the Memorandum.)  According to the final guidance, employers must file an amended H-1B petition if the H-1B employee has been or will be moved outside the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or “area of intended employment” (defined as the area “within normal commuting distance” of the location of employment), covered by an approved H-1B petition.  If the employee is moved within the MSA or “area of intended employment,” then the employer must post the original LCA at the new worksite.  Certain short-term placements (a new job location for up to 30 days, and in some cases 60 days) and moves to “non-work locations” do not require an amended H-1B petition.  USCIS has imposed deadlines for filing amended H-1B petitions based on the date of the change of location.

We strongly advise employers to review the locations of their H-1B employees as stated on their approved H-1B petitions and LCAs for the employees and confirm that the employees are still located at those locations and not others.  If the employees have been relocated or will be relocated, your immigrant counselor may provide specific advice about the requirements relevant to you.