The Evolving Landscape of H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Work Locations: Key Takeaways from DOL’s Latest FAQs

The digital age has disrupted the traditional work environment, and with the rise of remote work, employers now face unique challenges concerning workers on H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas. From unintentional new job locations to providing notices for Labor Condition Applications (LCA), the regulatory terrain is complex. This article sheds light on the key considerations and guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest FAQs on this issue.

1. Understanding the Dynamics of Unintended New Job Locations
In a world of remote work and evolving workplace policies, the question of unintended job locations for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 workers has gained prominence. Employers often wonder about their obligations if fully remote employees shift residences or if they mandate in-person work for previously remote staff. The foundational factor here is the area of intended employment listed in the approved LCA.

2. The DOL’s Fresh Perspective
To provide clarity on these emerging issues, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification issued a new set of FAQs on August 24, 2023. This update focuses on employer obligations regarding unintended new job locations, both within and outside the intended employment area, alongside LCA notice requisites.

3. Navigating Movements within the Area of Intended Employment
Several guidelines are essential for employers to be aware of:

Defining the Area: The “area of intended employment” essentially covers the regular commuting distance to the job. Locations within the Metropolitan Statistical Area of the filed LCA, even crossing state boundaries, fit this category.

Notice Provision: Even if an employee’s shift is within the intended area, the employer must still post a notice at the new location for ten days. This can be in electronic or hard copy format.

Considering Material Changes: If employment conditions alter significantly, employers might need to file a fresh LCA and perhaps an updated petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

4. Deciphering Moves Outside the Intended Employment Area
Here, employers should consider:

Short-Term Placements: For H-1B workers, there’s an option to use short-term placement provisions, which allow employees to work at new locations for up to 30 or, in some cases, 60 workdays in a year.

Filing a New LCA: Beyond the short-term provisions, moving a worker outside the intended area requires filing a new LCA and adhering to LCA compliance regulations.

5. Ensuring Proper LCA Notices
When filing LCAs, employers should ensure they give adequate notice, either to a bargaining representative or directly to employees. Notices should be easy to access, comprehensive, and maintained as part of a public access file.


The complexities of managing H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 workers in today’s digital work environment cannot be underestimated. As remote work blurs the lines of traditional job locations, employers must stay informed and agile, ensuring they remain compliant with shifting guidelines and regulations. By keeping abreast of the latest updates from the DOL and understanding their nuances, employers can navigate these challenges effectively.

(For in-depth references and detailed information, refer to the FAQs from the U.S. Department of Labor and the USCIS policy memorandum dated June 21, 2015, titled “USCIS Final Guidance on When to File an Amended or New H-1B Petition After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC” and the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division’s Field Assistance Bulletin from March 15, 2019.)

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