Domenick Anthony Cama Law, P.A.

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Continuing challenges for H-1B visa holders

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Immigration |

In the backdrop of the work restrictions that global lockdowns have imposed for almost two years, legal hurdles remain for H-1B holders and their employers seeking compliance material changes to workspace requirements. The H-1B program in the United States allows employers to hire highly specialized nonimmigrant workers with unique merit or ability by petitioning the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) for a temporary nonimmigrant visa.

These highly skilled professionals work in specialty occupations such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and must have at least the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in their area of expertise. Each year, applicants must compete for a low number of available H-1B visas with the USCIS. But current visa holders and their employers now must contend with amendments to current visas petitions as workers begin to come back to work.

Compliance issues with LCA requirements

As policies have shifted since the last administration’s actions to protect similarly employed U.S. workers from being at a competitive disadvantage regarding employment opportunities or wage disparities, many would have thought that amendments to workplace requirements and oversight would be merely a formality. Such is not the case for employers who are now welcoming their employees back into physical workspaces, however, as reported in the Time of India.

For H-1B visa workers to return to their work premises, the sponsoring employers must be following the requirements of the Labor Condition Application (LCA). If they had received a certified LCA in the past for the worker’s physical workspace, or the LCA included the Metropolitan Statistical Area of the worker, the matter should be straightforward. A substantial change in the job may also encompass:

  • Relocation of an employee farther than 50 miles
  • Changed responsibilities of the employee
  • Promotions or changes in salaries

Unfortunately, an LCA amendment to an existing H-1B employment requires the same amount of paperwork and time as starting a new visa application and opens new scrutiny of a visa that the USCIS already approved. The employer must also make sure to file a new LCA and amended H-1B petition before the effective date of the worksite change.

American immigration laws

U.S. immigration policy is constantly changing, and the requirements, specifications and deadlines for filing can make the visa process quite complex. As the immigrant community in Miami and throughout Florida is immense and continually growing, understanding these rules and finding about changes to current laws is essential when starting any immigration or visa process.