As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of many, the trend in working remotely or moving locations entirely has also continued. Employees working in the United States on an H-1B visa or those with a pending PERM process must keep a few things in mind prior to moving. The H-1B visa and PERM are location-specific and a move or switch to working from home may require an amended H-1B petition or a new PERM. It is imperative that your immigration attorneys are notified of a move or change in work location prior to the change in order to evaluate whether an amended petition or new PERM will be required.
A change in work location is a material change requiring an H-1B amendment. If you will continue to work in the same metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as the work locations listed on your labor condition application (LCA), filing an amendment may not be required. However, if you plan on working remotely or moving to a location outside of the MSA listed on your LCA, an amended H-1B petition must be filed and approved prior to the change in work location. This process includes filing a new LCA with the new work location(s) and filing a new H-1B petition with USCIS. For more information, please see our previous blog on Working Remote and the Impact on Your H-1B.
The Labor Certification required during the PERM process is also location specific and moving to a different primary worksite (whether office worksite or remote home worksite) or switching to working remotely may require revisions to a pending PERM process or filing a new PERM. Similar to the H-1B petition, moving within the MSA listed for the work location on the Labor Certification may not require filing a new PERM. Similarly, if an option to work from home was included on the Labor Certification or an employee plans on returning to the work location listed on the PERM by the time their green card is issued, a new PERM may not be required.
If you plan on moving to a different office or remote home worksite or switching to working remotely, it is prudent to contact your employer and immigration attorneys prior to the change. For questions about relocation, please contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.