H1b amendment - Criteria, Cost, Timeline - FAQ

What is a H1b amendment and who is responsible for it?

When a H1b employee’s job with the same employer undergoes changes like location, role, responsibility etc his/her H1b should be amended to reflect those changes. It’s the responsibility of the employer to pay and file for the amendment.

I am on H1b visa and my work location is changing, Is it mandatory to file H1b amendment?

It depends. If your new work location falls under the same Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) then you won’t need to do an amendment. But if they are different then you would need one.

What is a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)?

A Metropolitan Statistical Area MSA is a geographical region defined by population and economic activities. MSAs are designated as such by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a federal govt agency.

I am with the same Employer and same client, but work location at client is changing. Do I need to file an amendment?

If the move is permanent and the new location is in a different MSA, then you would need to file an amendment. If the move is temporary, depending on certain criteria, you won’t need an amendment.

I am with the same employer, but joining a new client in the same area. Do I need to file an amendment?

If the location is within the same MSA and there is no change in job duties, roles, responsibilities etc, you won’t need one.

Are MSAs confined to a state?

No. MSAs are not bound by state or city boundaries. In fact they can transcend them. For example, New York MSA comprises of regions from 4 different states.

Can I start working at the new location and apply for amendment?

No. Your employer has to apply for the H1b amendment and upon receiving the receipt, one can start working in the new location.

Can an amendment and visa extension filed together?

Yes, they can be applied together provided other criteria for the extension is met.

What is the H1b amendment processing time look like?

It historically varies depending on USCIS work load. Check with your attorneys.

Can a visa amendment applied in premium?

Generally Yes. But USCIS suspends H1b premium processing occasionally for various reasons. Outside that premium processing is available.

Do we need a new Labor Condition Approval (LCA) for amendment?

No, the old one should be sufficient.

What is the filing fee?

USCIS charges the base fee of $325 (as of this writing) for visa amendment.

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