Authored by Diane E. Metzger
Apr 10, 2015
In a precedent decision issued on April 9, 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) issued its ruling in the Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I & N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) declaring that a change in worksite location of an H-1B visa employee to a geographical area not covered by the original Labor Condition Certification (“LCA”) and H-1B petition is a material change which requires the filing of a new or amended petition for H-1B.
For employers of H-1B employees, this decision provides a clear mandate to employers to ensure that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is properly informed of any material changes to the H-1B worksite location. While our firm has been consistently advising clients of this for some time now, Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC is the clearest decision to date which supports the need to file an amended H-1B petition for any material changes to the H-1B employees’ worksite location.
In this case, petitioner Simeio Solutions, an information technology services provider, filed an H-1B petition for a foreign worker and identified the employee’s worksite address as a location in Long Beach, CA. After approval of the H-1B petition, USCIS performed a site visit to the Long Beach, CA worksite address listed on the H-1B petition in order to verify that the address was in fact the employee’s actual worksite location. When the employee was not located by USCIS officers at the Long Beach, CA worksite address, USCIS issued a Notice of Intent to Revoke (“NOIR”) the employer’s H-1B petition.
In its response to the NOIR, Simeio Solutions stated that the employee was now working at new worksites in Camarillo, CA and Hoboken, NJ—two locations which were not previously disclosed on the approved LCA or H-1B petition and which had different prevailing wage requirements than the worksite originally identified in the approved LCA and H-1B petition. The AAO ruling confirmed that these new worksite locations were material changes to the previously approved H-1B petition, thus requiring the filing of a new LCA and H-1B petition.
In order to avoid the same fate of Simeio Solutions, H-1B employers should be sure to review the actual worksite locations of all current H-1B employees, especially “roving” employees, and consult with immigration counsel to determine if any material changes in job duties or work locations have occurred since the approval of the H-1B petition which may require the filing of a new or amended H-1B petition.
If you have any questions about the H-1B visa or any other business immigration matter, please feel free to contact Diane Metzger.