Arbitrary rejections restrict business immigration in the US, says American Immigration Council.
Seven US businesses have dropped a lawsuit against US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after it agreed to accept and adjudicate previously rejected H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions.
The American Immigration Council had filed the suit on behalf of the seven firms in March challenging USCIS’ arbitrary rejection of H-1B petitions filed after Oct. 1 solely because the H-1B workers’ intended employment start date fell after Oct. 1.
The lawsuit alleged that based on this timeline, USCIS created an absurd choice: foreign workers needed to start on Oct. 1 (and not a day later) or the US employer had to misrepresent the intended employment start-date by “back-dating” the petition, according to an AIC press release.
READ: H-1B, other extensions may become smoother in Biden era (April 28, 2021)
Filed in the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts, the suit sought to stop USCIS’ arbitrary and capricious refusal to accept timely and properly filed H-1B petitions, which are subject to the annual statutory cap on H-1B visa numbers allocated each year.
The H-1B visa category is for employment of highly educated foreign professionals in “specialty occupations” that require at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a specific specialty.
Over the last few years, Indian professionals have been getting over 70 percent of 85,000 cap subject visas, including 20,000 for those with master’s degree.
“Arbitrary rejections restrict business immigration in the United States. The resolution of this case showcases the importance of litigating to challenge unlawful agency actions and advance a fair process for employment-based immigration,” said Leslie K. Dellon, senior attorney (business immigration) at the American Immigration Council.
“We dismissed the lawsuit because USCIS promptly corrected its error,” said Mintz Levin co-counsel for the plaintiffs Douglas Hauer and Laurence A. Schoen.
“All of our clients’ applications have now been accepted by USCIS. It is unfortunate that legal action was required. But we thank USCIS for doing the right thing.”
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Trump talks about changes in H-1B Visa, including a possible citizenship (January 11, 2019)
Trump’s tweet on H-1B and path to citizenship evokes lukewarm response (January 12, 2019)
US companies say they need more foreign workers, not less (March 6, 2018 )
Chuck Grassley again denounces H-1B visa program (January 18, 2018)
USCIS says it’s not ending H-1B visa extensions (January 9, 2018)