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COVID-19 Employment-Based Updates

Dear H-1B, O, TN and Permanent Resident Faculty and Staff,

You may have already read the communication from UC Merced leadership regarding Moving to Remote Instruction and Working Remotely. USCIS is yet to issue any guidance regarding telecommuting consequences for employment-based visas that require employees to work from specific worksite locations. In light of SEVP’s guidance regarding temporary online classes for foreign students on F visa status and the Departemnt of State's guidance for students on J visas, it is likely that USCIS will adopt a similarly flexible stance regarding employment- based visa holders telecommuting. Please be advised until this guidance is released by USCIS the regulations require you notify our office if you will not be working at the work site listed on your I-129 petition.

H-1B regulations allow H-1B employees to work in locations outside the office/work site listed on the employer’s H-1B petition, if these locations are within the normal commuting distance from the work location listed on the I-129 petition. If you will work remotely and within Merced County, the only action that needs to be taken is the posting notice with the Labor Condition Application (LCA). This will need to be posted in the new location or home work site, and a new H-1B petition does not need to be filed with USCIS.

H-1B workers who are working in remote locations that are outside of Merced County would be limited to 60 days in this remote location before UC Merced would need to file a new I-129 petition amendment, starting with the filing of a new Labor Condition Application. The short-term placement guidance would be followed with documentation placed in the file.

H-1B workers who have a change in their work site location longer than the permitted 60 days or those that have any material changes in position duties are required to file a new Labor Condition Application with Departemnt of Labor and file an amendment to the I-129 peition with USCIS.