CIS Makes Recent LCA/H-1 Rule Retroactive to H-1 Employees Previously Transferred to New Locations

As background, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued a decision which reverts the H-1 and LCA requirements to their original form from the early 1990s.  Specifically, if an H-1 employee is transferred to a new location, and that location is not listed on the original LCA filed with DOL before the original I-129 was filed with CIS, then a new LCA is required for the new location AND a new I-129 H-1 petition is also required. 

CIS has also announced that this “new” rule is retroactive to H-1 transfers filed and approved before the recent change.  CIS has stated they will not take punitive action against employers who were simply following the legal interpretation in effect before the new case.  However, a new H-1 petition must be filed for each and every transferred H-1 employee even if a new LCA was filed and approved under the old interpretation. 

In short, if you have H-1 employees who are still in H-1 status and who have been transferred to a new location but do not have an approved I-129 for that location, you have until August 19, 2015 to file the required amended petition (although apparently it does not have to be approved by that date).   This is required even if you have an approved LCA for the new location but that LCA was filed and approved after the I-129 petition was approved.  

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