Friday, November 12, 2010

New Location? No new H-1 is necessary

In April the USCIS announced a forthcoming change to the I-129, which is the base Form for H-1B petitions. The proposed Form included a little-noticed new requirement that an amended H-1B Petition must be filed whenever a H-1B worker changes his geographical location. This was inconsistent with prior USCIS guidance.

Musillo Unkenholt noticed this proposed requirement and realized that it would have a devastating effect on H-1B employers and employees who routinely move to new locations. We sent an official comment letter to USICS in which we raised our concerns. Our letter cited five prior instances where the USCIS had said that no amended H-1B was necessary when an H-1B worker changes a geographical location.

While the final revised Form I-129 will not be officially released until November 23, 2010, it appears that the USCIS has agreed with MU’s position. The Instructions to the new Form I-129 omit any requirement that an amended H-1B Petition must be filed whenever an H-1B worker changes his geographical location.

MU commends the USCIS for an open process and a recognition of past guidance.

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