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A Guide to H1B Amendment After Material Changes
A close-up of the H1B visa page and stamp in a passport with a blurred April calendar in the background

In this blog, we have explored the following topics:

  • What is H1B Amendment?
  • When is H1B Amendment required?
  • How to file amendment petitions after the material change?

Before we understand about H1B amendment related to material changes, it is helpful to go through and understand what H1B amendment is.

An Overview of the H1B Visa

The H1B visa is one of the most popular non-immigrant visas issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is considered the golden ticket, allowing foreigners to work and live temporarily in the USA. The H1B is employer-specific, which means that every time H1B holders change their job, their employer must apply for a new H1B visa.

Experts say that maintaining an H1B status can be quite challenging despite its many benefits. H1B holders should be cautious about the "amendment of their original H1B petition."

What Does H1B Visa Amendment Mean?

As the name implies, the H1B amendment means changing your original H1B petition. In several situations, you need to get your sponsoring employer to file a new petition on your behalf. Two such situations that call for an amendment are when your job position is changing significantly or when you want to change employers altogether. Also, it might be necessary to make H1B visa amendments from time to time whenever material changes occur in your terms and conditions.

What are "material changes?" Material changes include:

  • Changes in the work location
  • A significant change in job responsibilities
  • Changes in the occupational classification
  • Reduction in pay
  • Reduction in working hours (from full-time to part-time)
  • Change in job title
  • Change in the job role

Your H1B petition only needs to be amended in these situations if the position is still classified as a specialty occupation requiring a bachelor's degree or higher.

Other Situations That Require H1B Amendment

There are a few other situations when the H1B amendment is needed. They are:

Amendment for MSA location change

  • When your work area changes to a location outside the Metropolitan Statistical Area or Area of Intended Employment. Even if you want to work remotely from a location outside the MSA of the original work area, your employer may deem it beneficial with a short-term placement option. However, you will require amendments in your H1B petition if you continue working from home after sixty days. This is absolutely necessary if you want to maintain your H1B status.
  • When your employer changes your work location to a place that requires a newly certified Labor Condition Application.
  • When changes are made in your job's terms and conditions.

Experts recommend that employers file the amendments before moving to the new location. If you have already moved, your employer should waste no time commencing the process.

H1B Amendment for Client Change MSA

Many H1B IT consulting firms have brief contracts with end clients, So they move their H1B consultants around the same work location as new clients come in. In this case, it is advisable to follow H1B amendments with change MSAs.

Here are some classic situations of client change:

  • When you relocate from your original location within the US for a brief project for an end customer, your H1B employer's office remains in the original location. It is a classic "material change' situation. So you must file your H1B amendment petition before shifting to the new location and commencing your work.
  • When you have filed your H1B amendment change and shifted back to the original location, your employer has signed a fresh contract with your old client. In this case, your H1B amendment is still on hold, so you need not file a new one for your old client if your H1B is still bonafide.
  • When your old H1B visa with the original location has lapsed, you should file for the H1B extension.

H1B Amendment-Salary Increase

A minor difference in salary does not require an H1B amendment. However, if there is a drastic change in salary, it definitely requires an amendment.

H1B Amendment Client Change Within Same MSA

Changes in the end client within the same MSA can be handled by simply posting the existing LCA at the new worksite and avoiding filing an H1B amendment.

H1B Amendment for Promotion

If your job duties have not changed drastically from your current job position, you need not apply for an H1B amendment. However, you should not fail to apply for the same if there is a significant change in your job duties, even if the MSA remains unchanged.

How to File H1B Amendment Petitions After Material Changes

You can follow these steps for filing an H1B visa Amendment:

  • Collect all the documents for you and your sponsoring employer.
  • Fill out an LCA with details of all the important changes and file it with the US Department of Labor (DOL).
  • You will most likely get the DOL's approval within a week.
  • Prepare all other important documents such as:
  1. Form I-129 W
  2. Form I-129 H
  3. Form I-129
  4. Letter of Support
  5. our H1B visa
  6. Your passport and Form I-94
  7. Copy of your updated resume copy
  8. Copies of your three recent paystubs
  9. Copies of your educational degrees
  10. Your work itinerary
  • Form I-907 and G28 with the attorney's signature if you apply for Premium Processing.
  • Send the filled Form I-129 and all relevant documents to the USCIS.

Upon receiving your amendment petition, the USCIS will review your case and decide to approve or deny it. If the USCIS approves your petition, you can continue working with the amendments.

Also read: The Beginner's Handbook on H1B Amendment for Location Change

The Takeaway

The H1B visa comes with a slew of benefits. However, obtaining it is not an easy process. Moreover, you must adhere to all the rules and regulations to maintain your status. Failing to apply for an H1B amendment when the situation requires it is not at all advisable. Such discrepancies can lead to severe consequences for you and your employer.

For more information about H1B and to understand US non-immigrant visas better, follow Techfetch H1B.

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

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