In response to COVID-19, our office is still operating and we encourage those who want to set up a consultation with us to do so and you will have the option via phone or skype. Visit our Coronavirus Resource page for up-to-date info on COVID-19 and immigration.
In an effort to comply with government-mandated COVID-19 social distancing initiatives, many employers have told their employees to work from home until the shelter-in-place/shelter-at-home/state and local emergency is lifted.
We should all be doing our part to reduce the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
If the H-1B employee is working from home and their home address is in the same Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the work location listed in their H-1B petition, then there’s no real issue. An employer should follow the normal Labor Condition Application (LCA) posting guidelines but no H-1B amendment is needed.
But what should an employer do if the H-1B employee’s home address is in a different MSA than the work address listed in the H-1B application?
It depends on whether the home address is within a ‘normal commuting distance’ to the work address or not. As an employer, you have a few options on how to handle this situation:
Our office strongly advises employers to file H-1B amendments for a change in work location if the beneficiary is working outside of the MSA that is listed in their H-1B petition. However, if the home address is within normal commuting distance of the work location address, then an argument can be made that an H-1B amendment might not be required.
This is something you should definitely discuss with your immigration attorney.
If you have questions on filing an H-1B amendment, are unsure about how to determine the MSA of a work location, or have any other questions related to H-1B visas and remaining in compliance during COVID-19, please contact our office.