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The draft guidelines state that employers who currently employ H-1B workers must file an amended visa application AND a Labour Condition Application (LCA) if a worker switches to work premises not covered by the original visa.
For every amended H-1B application filed, the employer will pay $325.
In the past, H-1B visa holders who changed job locations only had to file for an LCA with the Department of Labour – a service that up until now, has been free of charge.
This means that the cost of keeping skilled foreign workers in the United States could skyrocket. In fact, if we include immigration attorney fees (who file visa petitions for most US employers), the process could end up costing companies upwards of $1,000 every time a worker moves job location.
Perhaps even more troubling, these draft guidelines will be applied retrospectively to every H-1B visa holder who changed their work location before May 21. If you changed location after May 21, you will be required to submit an amended application.
The immigration agency has allowed employers up until August 19 to file these new applications.
Gagan Sabharwal, the director for trade and development at India’s main software trade body, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, said: “The retroactive clause is the biggest concern the industry has.”
Sabharwal also stated the industry body’s concern over the lack of clarity on the timescale and implementation of the guidelines.
He continued: “Companies can’t wait for the decision, which will only give them less than a month’s notice to be able to make changes to thousands of petitions.”
If you have been affected by the new H-1B visa rules, we at visaplace can help. Our immigration lawyers will file the amended visa application AND a Labour Condition Application (LCA) on your behalf and make sure that you application is free from any errors that might lead to denial.
The first step towards a successful H-1B application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.
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