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Immigration Law
DOS Releases cable on H-1B adjudication by consulate officers involving changes in place of employme
Browse: 2423       Date: 12-23-2015     

On November 30, 2015 DOS Releases cable on H-1B adjudication by consulate officers involving changes in place of employment.


The primary responsibility of consular officers in visa adjudication is to carry out the requirements of U.S. immigration law. As such, consular officers are not expected to verify the LCA or place of employment for all H-1B adjudications. However, if an adjudicator becomes aware of a change in an H-1B applicant's place of employment, the adjudicator should verify the petitioner has taken the appropriate steps outlined below or give them an opportunity to do so. For example, if the beneficiary presents a cover letter from the petitioner stating that the beneficiary's place of employment is different than that stated on the approved H-1B petition, an additional line of inquiry may be necessary to determine the actual place of employment. If the consular officer determines the applicant's place of employment has changed, the appropriate action on the visa application will be determined by the date on which the employee's place of employment (if not covered by an existing, approved H-1B petition) changed:

If the move to a new worksite occurred on or before April 9, 2015, then the petitioner may choose to file a new petition by January 15, 2016. However, USCIS will generally not pursue new revocations or denials based upon failure to file an amended or new petition. Consular officers should not require petitioners to file amended or new petitions in these cases, and should process the case to conclusion based on the original, approved petition.

If the move to a new worksite occurred after April 9, 2015, but prior to August 19, 2015, then the petitioner must file an amended or new petition by January 15, 2016. Consular officers should not require petitioners to file new or amended petitions in these cases before January 15, 2016; prior to that date, consular officers should adjudicate the case to conclusion based on the original, approved petition. After January 15, 2016, consular officers should refuse the visa application under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) until the petitioner has provided a copy of a USCIS Notice of Receipt (Form I-797) or the consular officer has verified that an amended or new petition has been filed. The case should be adjudicated to conclusion even if the amended or new petition has not yet been approved. The PIMS record should use the original, approved petition number, and the visa should be annotated with: "New worksite - petition [new receipt number] filed [date].

If the move to a new worksite occurred on or after August 19, 2015, then the petitioner must file an amended or new petition before the employee begins work at the new place of employment not covered by an existing, approved H-1B petition. Consular officers should refuse the visa application under INA Section 221(g) until the petitioner has provided a copy of a USCIS notice of receipt that an amended or new petition has been filed. The case should be processed to conclusion based on the receipt notice, even if the amended or new petition has not yet been approved. The PIMS record should use the original, approved petition number, and the visa should be annotated with: "New worksite - petition [new receipt number] filed [date]."

Source: AILA