H-1B/H-4 Visas

Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B extension of stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant.

Premium processing remains available for all other Form I-129 H-1B petitions, including petitions subject to the H-1B cap that are requesting a change of nonimmigrant status or consular notification.

This temporary suspension will allow USCIS to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses final rule in a timely manner and adjudicate applications for employment authorization filed by H-4 nonimmigrants under the new regulations.


Effective May 26, 2015, certain H-4 visa holders may file for, and obtain, a Form I-765 Employment Authorization Document. For an excellent summary of the procedures, eligibility, etc., please visit the USCIS website, “Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses.”


Previously, we discussed the need to file additional paperwork before an H-1B employee is transferred to a different metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

On April 9, 2015, USCIS’ Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) issued a precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, which held that employers must file amended H-1B petitions when a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s worksite location.

If your H-1B employees were changing worksite locations at the time of the Simeio Solutions decision, you have 90 days from May 21, 2015 to file amended petitions for H-1B employees who changed their place of employment to an MSA or area of intended employment requiring coverage by a new or different LCA than that submitted with the original H-1B petition. Therefore, if you have not filed an amended petition for an H-1B worker who moved worksite locations before May 21, 2015, you have until August 19, 2015 to file an amended petition.

If your H-1B workers changed their worksite location before the Simeio Solutions decision, USCIS will not take adverse action against you or your employees if you, in good faith, relied on prior non-binding agency correspondence and did not file an amended petition due to a change in an MSA or area of intended employment by May 21, 2015. However, as noted above, you must now file an amended petition for these H-1B employees by August 19, 2015.

If you do not file an amended petition for these employees by August 19, 2015, you will be out of compliance with USCIS regulation and policy and thus subject to adverse action. Similarly, your H-1B employees would not be maintaining their nonimmigrant status and would also be subject to adverse action.

Once you file the amended petition, your H-1B employee can immediately begin to work at the new location. You do not have to wait for a final decision on the amended petition for your H-1B employee to start work at the new location.

| Nonimmigrant