H-1B Visa Lawsuit
January 9, 2019
Most Americans have experienced calling a local technology provider with an IT question or problem and are connected to a person from a foreign country. While most of us assume the person is talking or chatting with us from an American base, it is very possible that they are communicating with us from outside the United States.
H-1B visas allow American based IT companies the opportunity to draw on the technical knowledge and skills of IT specialists in other countries. The H-1B visa permits companies in the U.S. to hire workers from other countries who have specialized knowledge or expertise. Many of these specialized workers are hired from India and China. In fact, tens of thousands of these workers are reportedly employed by U.S. companies each year to stay competitive in the current global market.
While the H-1B visas take the stress and financial burden of recruiting and employing American workers with this area of expertise, many are claiming that U.S. immigration offices have been taking the liberty of interpreting and changing policies of the H-1B visas set forth by Congress. Earlier this month, the ITServe Alliance filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), charging them with illegally changing the duration period of H-1B visas.
ITServe vs. USCIS
ITServe is a non-profit advocacy group representing IT companies in the United States that promote a global marketplace by hiring non-immigrant IT professionals from other countries, such as India and China. Congress has mandated that H-1B visas for these workers be issued for a minimum period of three years and a maximum period of six years. Only the Department of Labor has the authority to change the duration period in any way. ITServe claims that the USCIS has been issuing H-1B visas in durations of months or in shorter periods.
A spokesperson for ITServe said the short duration periods for the H-1B visas result in high costs for companies and employees that must constantly petition to extend or renew their H-1B status. ITServe claims that the USCIS has been making illegal adjustments to the H-1B visa mandates and issuing denials for the visas without explanation for over eight years. By filing the lawsuit against the USCIS, ITServe hopes to hold them accountable and avoid further enforcement actions, visa denials, and processing delays.
ITServe filed a different successful lawsuit against the USCIS in July that prohibited third party employment for F-1 STEM students that were participating in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The USCIS was forced to rewrite information on their website that prevented these students from gaining employment.
ITServe claims to be committed to advocating for IT companies in the United States by educating legislators and federal regulation agencies to sustain IT development in the United States. Plaintiffs involved in the most recent lawsuit against the USCIS hope to hold them liable to follow the laws and regulations set forth by Congress.
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If you or someone you know is facing a visa or immigration issue, the Philadelphia visa petition lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC can help. Call us at 215-496-0690 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the tri-state area, and nationwide.