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The Simeio decision and H-1B update requirements

Many South Carolina business owners may be confused about whether they need to file H-1B updates for employees who moved to new work locations before the decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, or Simeio, came out. The ruling, which was issued on April 9, requires employers to amend H-1B visas for employees anytime those employees were moved to a new geographical location.

According to guidance issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, on May 27, employers who had employees move prior to the April 9 decision would have been retroactively required to file amended H-1B petitions. A deadline was given for employers to do so by Aug. 19. While USCIS indicated it would not generally pursue revocations on the basis of an employer's failing to amend a H-1B for a move prior to April 9, it also indicated it wouldn't reverse any revocations already in place.

Amended guidelines were issued in July that extended the deadline to amend in order to cure past failures from Aug. 19 to Jan. 15, 2016. The choice has been left up to the employer regarding whether to file an amended petition, as USCIS has given little guidance on what it means by generally not pursuing revocations. After Aug. 19, employers must file amended H-1B petitions prior to their employee's beginning a job in a new location.

Employment immigration may seem complicated to both employers and employees. Businesses that employ foreign workers may want to consult with an immigration law attorney about whether their business is in compliance with all of the paperwork and documentation requirements of USCIS. An attorney may be able to review their client's case to determine whether they need to file an amended H-1B petition. They may also help by drafting and filing the amended petition.

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