The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of the USCIS has issued a Published Decision on April 9, 2015, in a case titled, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015).
As per this Decision, a change in Beneficiary’s place of employment to a different Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from the one listed on the approved petition constitutes a “material change” in employment that requires an Amended Petition to be filed with USCIS.
In this case, the I-129 had listed Long Beach, CA as Beneficiary’s place of employment and a subsequent LCA (submitted in response to an Administrative Site Visit by USCIS) listed Camarillo, CA and Hoboken, NJ as the two new worksites. The two new worksites were in a different MSA than the initial work location of Long Beach, CA. The Director argued that the change in work location to a different MSA, constituted a “material change” and since the Petitioner failed to file an Amended Petition, the initial approval was Revoked.
This case is significant given that the California Service Center of the USCIS sought AAO’s review of its revocation of the approved H-1B petition. Now that CSC has AAO’s blessings on its action, GLF believes we will see more site visits and more revocations of approved petitions from USCIS following site visits if the petitioner did not submit an Amended Petition, when the new place of employment is in a different MSA.
In light of this Decision, GLF advises its clients to do the following:1. Always obtain a new LCA for any change in place of employment even if it is within the same MSA;
2. If employee is moved to a new place of employment in a different MSA other than the one listed on the I-129, obtain a new LCA and also file an Amended H-1B Petition immediately.
As always, please feel free to reach out to GLF, if you have any questions or concerns or need additional guidance in this area.