Thursday, July 23, 2015

USCIS ISSUES FINAL GUIDANCE ON AMENDED H-1B PETITIONS AFTER SIMEIO SOLUTIONS

The USCIS has again revised its interpretation of the opinion that it issued in the controversial Simeio Solutions decision.  The revised Final Guidance says that the Simeio Solutions decision will not be applied retroactively, which is a significant change from the USCIS’ May 26, 2015 Guidance.  The revised Final Guidance now says that these actions must be taken:


Date of H-1B employee's move
Action
On or before April 9, 2015
No amended H-1B is needed.
April 9 - August 19, 2015
Amended H-1B must be filed before Jan. 15, 2016.
After August 19, 2015
Must file an amended H-1B once LCA is certified.

H-1B employers should note that generally an H-1B employer has 30 days from the date of the move to file the amended H-1B.  Accordingly, we advise that MU Law is informed of the move immediately, so that we can prepare the LCA and the amended H-1B filing.

The revised Final Guidance reconfirmed that an amended H-1B petition is NOT required if the geographical move is within an “area of intended employment.”  An “area of intended employment” is generally the same as a Metropolitan Statistical Area.  Likewise, an amended H-1B petition is NOT required if the H-1B employee is attending training sessions, seminars, conferences, etc. of a short duration.

The revised Final Guidance also confirms that if an employer's amended H-1B petition is denied, but the original petition remains valid, the H-1B employee may return to work at the place of employment covered by the original petition.

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