February 23, 2024 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Feb 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, learn about increases in premium processing fees, a pilot program launched by USCIS and impacts of the "Simeio Solutions" Amendment Rule on your H-1B application.

Increase in Premium Processing Fees

Effective February 26, 2024, USCIS is adjusting the fees associated with the premium processing of certain applications and petitions. This change is part of USCIS's ongoing efforts to streamline its operations and provide faster processing times for critical immigration documents. Applicants who opt for premium processing will see a fee increase, which allows for expedited review of their applications, reducing the waiting time significantly. Those affected are encouraged to review the new fee structure on the USCIS website to plan accordingly for their application submissions.

Launch of E-Verify+ Pilot in Spring 2024

USCIS is set to launch a pilot program for E-Verify+ in Spring 2024. This innovative program aims to enhance the existing E-Verify system by integrating it with the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. E-Verify+ promises to simplify and streamline the verification steps employers must take to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States legally. This advancement is expected to improve efficiency, reduce paperwork, and provide a more straightforward process for both employers and employees.

New Beneficiary-Centric H-1B Registration Process

In a significant overhaul of the H-1B visa registration process, USCIS introduces a Beneficiary-Centric H-1B Registration Process for the Fiscal Year 2025. Moving away from the employer-centric selection system, this new approach focuses on individual beneficiaries. Under this system, each unique beneficiary, armed with a valid passport or equivalent travel documentation, will be entered into the H-1B lottery once, irrespective of the number of registrations submitted by different employers on their behalf.

This change aims to create a fairer, more equitable system that diminishes the potential for fraud and abuse. It ensures that all candidates have an equal opportunity to be selected in the H-1B lottery, regardless of how many job offers they may have. This is a welcome change for prospective H-1B workers, leveling the playing field and offering a transparent, just selection process. However, for employers, the new system presents a mixed bag, requiring adaptation to the new registration mechanics.

The introduction of the Beneficiary-Centric process marks USCIS's attempt to modernize and improve the fairness of the H-1B visa program. While its effectiveness will be monitored in the upcoming weeks, it represents a critical step forward in aligning the H-1B visa category with the nation's economic needs and fairness in employment opportunity.

Navigating H-1B Compliance: The Impact of the "Simeio Solutions" Amendment Rule

The "Simeio Solutions" memo, issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has introduced critical guidelines that have reshaped the landscape for H-1B visa petitions, particularly concerning amendments due to employment location changes. This memo, rooted in the Administrative Appeals Office's decision in "Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC," clarifies the necessity for employers to file an amended or new H-1B petition when an H-1B employee's worksite location changes in a way that requires a new Labor Condition Application (LCA).

Background and the Emergence of Clear Guidelines

Before the "Simeio Solutions" decision, the requirement for filing amended H-1B petitions after relocating an H-1B employee was murky. The ruling has since established clear mandates: if the relocation necessitates a new LCA, an amended petition is required. This decision aims to ensure that employment terms remain consistent with those originally approved, safeguarding the integrity of the H-1B visa program.

Key Provisions and Their Implications

The memo specifies that for any significant worksite change requiring a new LCA, an amended H-1B petition must precede the relocation. It introduced a grace period for compliance, allowing employers to retroactively file amendments for already relocated employees, provided no amendment had been submitted previously. This policy underscores the importance of vigilance among employers to prevent compliance issues and potential penalties.

Employer Vigilance and Proactive Compliance

The implications for employers are significant. They must now closely monitor any changes in employment locations and ensure timely filing of amendments to avoid penalties. This vigilance supports not only compliance but also the stability of the H-1B employee's status in the United States.

The Crucial Role of Amending H-1B Visas

Maintaining H-1B compliance is paramount, requiring amendments for any significant changes in employment conditions. This adherence is crucial for the legal status of H-1B workers and the employers who sponsor them.

Practical Steps for Employers and Employees

Employers should:

  • Regularly review changes in job duties, locations, or other conditions.
  • Consult with immigration lawyers to navigate the complexities of H-1B amendments.
  • File any necessary amendments promptly to avoid gaps in employees' authorized status.

H-1B employees should:

  • Ensure their immigration documents are valid and up to date.
  • Adhere strictly to the terms of their sponsored employment.
  • Report any significant changes in employment or status to the Company HR or employer.


The "Simeio Solutions" memo has brought clarity and a heightened sense of responsibility for both employers and H-1B visa holders. By adhering to these guidelines, the H-1B program can continue to serve as a bridge for international talent, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy while ensuring compliance and integrity within the immigration system.

We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.


Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

[Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.]

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