As previously reported on this blog, a recent administrative decision - Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC - has been causing consternation within the immigration community. The reason is that Simeio stated that employers must file an amended H-1B petition and an updated Labor Condition Application (LCA) if a H-1B worker moves to a different location from the location named in the original petition and LCA. Before the decision, immigration lawyers relied on long-standing USCIS guidance that said that a new petition was not needed if there was a new LCA in place before the employee changed locations.
Following the decision, USCIS issued interim guidance, with a request for comments. USCIS has now released the final guidance, available here. In summary, the new guidance confirms that a new petition is needed if the H-1B worker moves to a location that is not within commuting distance of the worksite listed on the original LCA. The worker can start at the new worksite once the petition is filed with USCIS, and does not need to wait until the petition is approved.
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USCIS guidance: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2015/2015-0721_Simeio_Solutions_Transition_Guidance_Memo_Format_7_21_15.pdf
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Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.