Whether a change in work location constitutes a "material change" to the terms and conditions of employment and thereby requiring an amended petition has been an oft discussed issue. USCIS on multiple occasions had stated that they are working on a document to address "material change" in the H-1B context. But till date USCIS had not taken an official position on the change in work location. Filing amended petitions for every change in work location puts onerous requirements on the employers. As we have learned in practice, USCIS adjudicates an amended petition exactly as every other H-1B petition without deference to prior decisions. So the employer still has to prove employer-employee relationship, work availability, status, etc.
Even before this decision, recent trends, specifically notice of revocations issued by USCIS (based on consular recommendations) suggested that USCIS is looking for amended petitions. Sikal & Associates has been advising clients to file amended petitions, specifically when the beneficiary is traveling outside the US. With the recent decision this position has become official and USCIS can now be expected to enforce the need for amended petitions every time an employee moves locations. So it is all the more important for employers to initiate an amendment petition (and not just a compliance LCA) whenever an employee changes locations. Please reach out to Sikal & Associates for further guidance on this.