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The Complete Guide to H1B Visa Amendments
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In this article, we have explained the following topics:

  • What is the H1B Amendment?
  • Circumstances when H1B Amendment is required
  • Circumstances when H1B amendment is not required
  • How to amend an H1B visa?
  • Implications of not filing amendment on time

Also important along with all of this is to understand the process that is involved in the filing of an H1B amendment.

A Brief Outlook at the H1B Amendment

Obtaining an H1B visa is not a walk in the park, so maintaining the H1B visa status is necessary. You need to take extra care when material changes occur in the terms and conditions of your H1B job. This is why an H1B visa amendment is needed from time to time to ensure you are well within the rules and regulations that guarantee your visa validity. If you are unsure about the H1B Amendment, this article is for you.

What is the H1B Amendment? As you guessed, the H1B amendment is about "amending" your H1B visa whenever there is a material change. So, what is a material change? A material change refers to any significant change made in the H1B job's terms and conditions. There are several situations that call for an H1-B amendment. We have discussed all the circumstances that require amendments. For example, a new petition is needed every time you change employers. Let's explore other situations.

Circumstances When An H1B Amendment is Required

The below-mentioned circumstances require an amendment as long as your job is considered a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or higher educational qualification. Here are a few other situations where the H1B Amendment is needed:

  • Change of job roles, a significant increase in salary, change in the job title.
  • Change in H1B employee's worksite location, which requires the employer to submit a new Labor Condition Application (LCA).
  • Changes made to an H1B worker's employment terms and conditions.
  • Change of the H1B employee's employment location out of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or "area of intended employment." ( The employer can utilize the short-term placement option if the location where the employee will be working remotely is outside the MSA of the original worksite. If the employee continues to work from home after the 60th day, an amended H-1B petition is necessary to maintain the H-1B status.)

The amendment should be filed before the employee moves. The employer should immediately initiate the amendment process if the move has already occurred.

Circumstances When An H1B Amendment is NOT Required

The employer need not file an amendment petition if:

  • The work location changes within the same MSA, or the employee works within the same intended employment area.
  • The employee is sent to a new worksite outside the MSA on short-term placements of less than thirty days.
  • The employee is sent to work in non-worksite locations.
  • The employee is primarily based in one location but travels for work to other areas on a casual, short-term basis.
  • There are no significant changes in the employee's job terms and conditions.
  • The company restructures or changes ownership, and the new entity is a successor-in-interest to the original petitioning employer, and the employment terms and conditions have not changed.

How to File For H1B Amendment

Filing an H1B amendment is not the same as filing for H1B Extension. However, both processes require Form I-129. To file an H1B amendment petition, the employer must submit Form I-129 and notify the USCIS of the material changes made in the H1B job.

Given below are the steps for H1B Amendment:

  • Collect all documents related to the H1B sponsoring employer and the H1B employee.
  • Fill out a Labor Condition Application with all the important details of the material change.
  • File the LCA with the US Department of Labor (DOL) and get its approval (DOL will mostly grant approval within a week.)
  • Prepare the Letter of Support and Forms I- 129 W, I-129 H, and I-129 for the case.
  • Prepare form I-907 and G28 (signed by an attorney) if you opt for Premium Processing.
  • Mail all the documents and the payment checks to the USCIS.
  • Wait for USCIS decision.

H1B Amendment Cost & Processing Time

The H1B amendment fee is $1500, and Premium Processing will cost extra. The processing time depends largely on the USCIS service center's workload. It may take around 4 to 6 months, but the work will be done in fifteen days with Premium Processing.

What Happens if the H1B Amendment Petition is Denied by the USCIS?

Generally, filing an h1B Amendment petition does not affect the original H1B visa. The employer does not have to wait for the USCIS decision to send the employee to the new work location. However, if the amendment petition for the location change is denied, the employee must return to the original work area mentioned in the original H1B petition. It is assumed that they will be able to maintain their H1B status and perform the job duties in the same working conditions mentioned in the original Labor Condition Application.

The Consequences of Not Filing an H1B Amendment On-Time

If the H1B Amendment is not filed on time, the employer and the employee will be in trouble if the USCIS visits the work location mentioned in the original H1B petition. Please note that the USCIS will not know the material change because the LCA is filed with the DOL. Therefore if the USCIS' Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) team visits the work location, they will also visit the previous job site. Under such circumstances, the job legitimacy is challenged.

The USCIS will take strict action against the employer and employee for failure to apply for H1B Amendment under the right circumstances. Sometimes, the H1B employee may lose their H1B status and be deported to their home country. Therefore, there should be no delay or hesitation in filing an H1B Amendment whenever there is a material change.

Also read: An In-depth Guide to RFE H1B

To Conclude

Please note that the USCIS is slowly including more scenarios that require an H1B Amendment. Therefore, please consult your employer or immigration attorney if you have any doubts regarding filing an H1B Amendment petition.

Also, please feel free to visit TechFetch H1B for more information about H1B and other US non-immigrant visas.

**Disclaimer: All H1B processes are subject to change. Kindly refer to the USCIS official website for the latest information.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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