I have valid H1b petition for auburn hills Michigan. I need to move to other work location for different client which is in Dearborn Michigan. Auburn hills is in Oakland county and Dearborn is on Wayne county. Both fall under Detroit MSA. So in this case do I need to file for amendment petition . my duties would remain same at both the location
If your employer uses an attorney, then you definitely should talk with the attorney. If not, then you might want to meet with an attorney of your own to resolve your concerns. Many attorneys on Avvo offer free online, telephone and in-person consultations.
You did not mention whether the change of work location within the Detroit MSA was part of a change in end client assignment or project assignment, or whether you have more traditional employment and the move is the result of, for example, an office move by your employer. If the latter is the situation - a mere office move by the employer for whom you are directly providing services and there is absolutely no other change to any aspect of the employment, then an amending petition might not be required.
In all other cases, it might indeed be required, as I explain below.
The situation has been confused slightly by the recent decision in Simeio. The USCIS Simeio policy might look like it is changing the H-1B game when it comes to work location changes, but it is not. Simeio was specifically targeting the issue of work location changes when no other change has occured within the petition. It does not alter the long-standing USCIS / INS position that an amended petition is required whenever there is a material change to the terms and conditions of H-1B employment, even if an LCA is not required by the DOL because the MSA has not changed. (See 8 CFR 21.4(h)(11)(i)(A): "The petitioner shall immediately notify the Service of any changes in the terms and conditions of employment of a beneficiary which may affect eligibility under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Act and paragraph (h) of this section. An amended petition on Form I-129 should be filed when the petitioner continues to employ the beneficiary."
USCIS / INS has consistently maintained that changes to job duties or wages can be material changes.
In my experience, since roughly 2007 or 2008, USCIS has taken the position that a change of end client is almost always going to be a material change to the terms and conditions of employment. Changes in end clients almost always subtly affect the job duties, depending on how different the new project is from the old.
The approach taken by USCIS is internally consistent too- why would the USCIS go into insane amounts of detail verifying the details of middle and end clients during an initial H-1B petition if those details are not material to the employment?
A failure to file a petition when a material change has occurred can mean that, later on when either an extension petition is filed or an adjustment of status is filed, the USCIS might find that the move was in fact a material change and the subsequent employment was not authorized, or that there was a violation of status. The risk of not filing when one ought to, therefore, is very high.
All in all, I tend toward filing amending petitions to be safe, if there are in fact changes to end client assignments or other materials aspects of employment.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
Retaining an attorney is a real benefit in a situation like this. An attorney can review documents and proposed move to another location and advise you and your employer on your obligations and responsibilities under the H-1B program. If you proceed in the wrong manner, you could be found to have violated your status.
The answer above is only general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known and detailed research has not been undertaken. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers require an investigation into all facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. Use these answers at your own risk.
As a precautionary measure your employer should file the amendment. However, your employer's immigration attorney will know how to proceed after reviewing all the pertinent facts.
What is really required is an attentive counsel of record.
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