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Another Change to H-1B Visa Status Another Change to H-1B Visa Status

Another Change to H-1B Visa Status

Just in time for the kick-off of the Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B cap season, USCIS has released a new memorandum intended to more tightly control the approvability of H-1B petitions. While the memo is targeted at petitions seeking placement of H-1B workers at third-party worksites, the memo contains language regarding itinerary requirements that could be applied more broadly to all H-1B petitions where the worker performs service at more than one location.

In pertinent part, the memo reminds employers that even in third-party worksite placements, there must remain a true employer-employee relationship between the sponsoring employer and the H-1B worker for the duration of the proposed employment AND the H-1B worker must be employed in a specific, “non-speculative” specialty occupation for the duration of the proposed employment. The memo goes on to describe additional evidence that may be required to meet these contractual and itinerary (date and location) obligations for approval of H-1B status.

It remains to be seen how broadly this memo will be applied, but for H-1B petitions involving third-party worksites, it’s clear USCIS will be requiring far greater evidence to substantiate these H-1B obligations with respect to the actual job duties to be performed at all worksites, as well as specific dates and addresses for the full duration of requested H-1B status. In addition, USCIS could apply the itinerary requirement to any H-1B petition seeking approval in more than one location.

We will continue to monitor USCIS’ interpretation of this new guidance. If you have questions regarding the H-1B program or any other immigration matter, please contact Jenifer M. Brown, Christl Glier or Kristin Kelley.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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