The USCIS is moving forward with its visa modernization plan. It has published plans to amend the regulations “governing the adjustment of status process and employment-based immigration. Through this rule, DHS proposes to allow certain approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) beneficiaries to obtain work authorization, clarify the meaning of portable work authorization, and remove unnecessary restrictions on the ability to change jobs or progress in careers, as well as provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.”
Stay tuned for further developments.
In a recent decision, an H-1B employee was denied a visa because his employer transferred him to a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). In Matter of Simeio, the USCIS held that an employer must not only obtain and post a new LCA, but that it must also file an amended H-1B petition. This was a departure from previous guidance, which suggested that obtaining and posting a new LCA was sufficient.
The USCIS recently issued new guidance on implementing Simeio. It is important for H-1B employers and employees to pay careful attention to this guidance. If employers do not comply, they could be facing significant fines and penalties. The H-1B employee could be deemed out of status and subject to removal.
Prudent H-1B employers and employees will consult with counsel before making changes to the conditions or locations of employment.