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H-1B denials for mkt analysts trigger class action lawsuit

H-1B visa allows US employers to file visa applications for foreign professionals to work in ‘speciality occupations’ that require at least a bachelors’ degree or its equivalent in a specific role. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has arbitrary denied several H-1B applications on the ground that the job positions were not ‘speciality occupations’, and hence not eligible for an H-1B visa.

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Last Updated: May 20, 2020, 11.10 AM IST
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The primary object of the class action lawsuit is to convince the court to issue a judgment and stop USCIS from issuing blanket denials for market research analyst positions and start following the plain language of the statute and the regulations.
(This story originally appeared in on May 20, 2020)
Mumbai: A nationwide class action lawsuit was recently filed before a US federal court, challenging the arbitrary denial of H-1B applications filed for market research analysts. Two US companies — MadKudu and Quick Fitting — filed this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all US employers who are similarly placed.

The H-1B visa allows US employers to file visa applications for foreign professionals to work in ‘speciality occupations’ that require at least a bachelors’ degree or its equivalent in a specific role. TOI has in several articles covered the arbitrary denials of H-1B cap applications by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the ground that the job positions were not ‘speciality occupations’, and hence not eligible for an H-1B visa.

Charles H Kuck, managing partner at the immigration law firm of Kuck Baxter, one of the counsels in the case, told TOI, “USCIS does not like being sued. The class action lawsuit actually resulted in USCIS re-opening and approving the plaintiff’s H-1B applications for market research analysts. We would love for more employers and employees to join our suit — there is no cost in doing so.”

The primary object of the class action lawsuit is to convince the court to issue a judgment and stop USCIS from issuing blanket denials for market research analyst positions and start following the plain language of the statute and the regulations, added Kuck. The class action law suit has sought to rein in the unlawful adjudicating practice that USCIS adopted, including its misinterpretation of the Labour department’s ‘Occupational Outlook Handbook’, which profiles hundreds of occupations in the US job market.

“In the last four years, USCIS has shifted its interpretation of various immigration laws, including those governing H-1B visa petitions. This has resulted in a material rise in costs and harm to US employers seeking to temporarily employ talented foreign nationals. The unrelenting unlawful practice of USCIS necessitates class-wide relief,” said Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which is also representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They are also represented by The American Immigration Council and several other law firms.
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