The American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) has noted that the West Coast California Service Center of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has taken the position that employers must file an amended Form I-129 in connection with their Labor Conditions Application (“LCA”) prior to any geographic job location change for foreign workers sponsored under the H-1B visa program.
AILA accurately pointed out that this contradicts the position stated by Efren Hernandez, the Director of Business and Trade for USCIS in an October 23, 2003 letter, which concluded that no amended Form I-129 was necessary where:
An original LCA has been filed and certified for the new location prior to a move;
The LCA has been posted in accord with labor regulations;
Other wage and hour obligations are met; and
There are no other material changes in terms and conditions of employment.
Legal practitioners have reported to AILA an increase in site audits and revocation of petitions involving their clients where the USCIS could not find the beneficiary of a foreign labor petition at the worksite listed in the initial petition.
For employers, this development emphasizes the importance of legal consultation and document review in connection with any significant changes in working locale or conditions for sponsored foreign workers.
If you are an employer or an employer’s agent in charge of immigration compliance, please do not hesitate to call our offices for assistance at (847)564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.