May 28, 2015
In a controversial ruling last month that changed years of established policy, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued an H-1B precedent decision. At issue was whether an employer is required to file not only a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) but also an amended H-1B petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when an H-1B employee’s worksite is changed to a location that is outside the geographical location approved in the original H-1B petition.

The USCIS issued guidance on May 21, 2015 with further clarification on open issues, including when an H-1B petition actually needs to be amended. The guidance confirms that an amendment is not necessary when an employee moves to a new site within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or area of intended employment.

While changes in employer and position have been relatively clear, employer responsibilities related to changes in worksite location have been historically murky, in part due to fluctuations in legacy INS and USCIS interpretations. The issue adjudicated by the AAO dealt with a worksite change including a higher prevailing wage required in the new location. For more information, including specific instructions for H-1B users, please click here.