Under long-standing USCIS policy, an amended H-1B petition was not required to be filed when an H-1B worker changed geographic work locations, provided 1) a new LCA was filed and certified for the new location prior to the employee's move; 2) the LCA notices were posted at the new worksite in accordance with regulation; and 3) there were no material changes to the terms and conditions of employment. While USCIS has recently stated that it is reviewing this policy, it has not to date issued a formal policy change. Nevertheless, some USCIS adjudicators apparently think otherwise, and have decided unilaterally that a change in work location which is outside of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) listed on the original filing requires more than a new LCA.

Over the past few months, we have received troubling reports of USCIS employer site audits and (proposed) revocations of petitions in cases where the H-1B beneficiary has moved to a new worksite without filing with USCIS an amended H-1B petition with USCIS. We have asked USCIS to provide clarification on what exactly is required when an H-1B employee changes work locations. In the meantime, we advise that you file a new LCA and an amended H-1B petition prior to relocating your H-1B employee in order to avoid any potential problems.

One important exception: if your employee will be relocating to another worksite within the same Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) listed on the LCA and the H-1B petition (for example, moving from an office in Manhattan to one in Queens), neither a new LCA nor an amended H-1B petition is required. Rather, two new posting notices must be posted for 10 days in the new office location, and then kept in the public access file.