As of August 19, 2015, full enforcement of a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) will commence.
On April 9, 2015, the AAO—the appellate body for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—issued theSimeio decision, which creates new obligations for employers with H-1B employees. In Simeio, the AAO concluded that an H-1B employee’s change in worksite location requires the employer to certify a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) for Nonimmigrant Workers to USCIS and file an amended H-1B petition because a worksite transfer constitutes a material change in the terms and conditions of employment. An amended petition is required when the new place of employment falls outside the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) designated on the original LCA. Additionally, the Simeiodecision provides USCIS with the authority to revoke any H-1B if an employee moves to a job site outside of the designated MSA on the original LCA, and the employer fails to file an amended H-1B petition prior to the change.
Previously, USCIS guidance provided that a mere change in geographic location—without other changes with respect to salary and job duties—did not require an employer to file an amended H-1B petition. This guidance established that employers met their H-1B obligations so long as (1) the LCA had been filed and certified prior to the change in location, (2) the appropriate worksite posting had taken place, and (3) other wage and hour obligations were met. The Simeiodecision reverses this prior guidance.
On July 21, 2015, USCIS issued its final guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition in light of the Simeiodecision. USCIS provides the following guidelines for enforcement:
Click here to view the table.
Employers with H-1B employees should carefully consider the enforcement guidelines above when deciding whether—and when—to file amended H-1B petitions.