Short-Term Placements for H-1B Workers

Practice Areas

By Navdeep Meamber

Under the short-term placement option, an employer may temporarily move an H-1B visa worker to a new worksite. This means the location is not listed on the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) and filed H-1B petition. When certain conditions are met, the employer does not need to file an amended or new H-1B petition for the new location. This option can save employers valuable time.

How H-1B Employees Qualify for Short-Term Placement

Before an employer can utilize short-term placement, they must meet the following conditions:

  • Placement cannot exceed 30 workdays (consecutive or non-consecutive) within a one-year period
  • H-1B employee must be present and working in the US for the same employer
  • No “material changes” in the “terms and conditions” of the H-1B employment, such as a reduced salary, or changes to job duties or permanent worksite
  • Certified LCAs must not be in place for the new location
  • No strike or lockout in progress at the new location

If the employer does not file a new LCA, the H-1B worker must leave the short-term worksite when their temporary period is over.

For any short-term placement, employers must also pay the H-1B employee the wage they receive at the permanent work location, based on the certified LCA. They also must reimburse the actual cost of lodging, travel, meals and incidental expenses for each calendar day.

Extensions for Short-Term Placements

In some situations, employers can extend a short-term placement by an additional 30 workdays. The extended placement must not exceed 60 days total in a one-year period.

An extension is possible only when H-1B workers meet additional conditions. At the permanent worksite listed on the certified LCA, they must:

  • Show that they spend substantial time there
  • Have an office or workstation there
  • Maintain a residence location

The short-term placement permits an H-1B worker to travel up to 30 or 60 days per year to another “place of employment.”

When an H-1B Amendment is Required

Short–term placement is not an option in certain situations. When there is a “material change” in the “terms and conditions of employment,” the employer must file an amended H-1B petition and LCA.

Employers must also file an amended H-1B when the H-1B worker is needed at the temporary worksite after their short-term placement. The H-1B employee must leave the location until their employer files the amended H-1B.

Once the employer files the amended H-1B, they do not have to wait for a final decision on the amended petition. After receiving the H-1B amendment notice from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H-1B employee can immediately begin to work at the new location.

Conclusion

Short-term placements provide a time-saving alternative when certain conditions are met. It is important to pay close attention to all regulations at play, to ensure no violations of US immigration law. Employers should consult a trusted attorney before embarking on a temporary worksite change for an H-1B employee.

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