Tech Companies Fight Back With Lawsuit Against H-1B Visa Restrictions
On May 1st, a group of small technology companies filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) over a policy memo issued in February 2018, which places greater restrictions on H-1B employers who place employees at third-party work-sites.
The lawsuit was filed by a trade association called “Small and Medium Enterprise Consortium” and two IT consulting companies. The lawsuit alleges that USCIS overstepped its role in overseeing the H-1B visa program. Further, the lawsuit claims, “Without sufficient evidence to meet their clients’ needs, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm to reputation and ability to compete.”
IT consulting companies have already witnessed increased scrutiny prior to the February 2018 memo. The new guidance will only make it that much more difficult to obtain an H-1B approval where third-party placement is involved. Smaller tech companies who rely on this business model are expected to be hit hardest.
We have witnessed firsthand how difficult Requests for Evidence (RFE) are becoming for these companies. For instance, we have already received RFEs requesting proof that the terms and conditions of previously approved petitions were met. We have also received H-1B petitions approved for a shorter duration than requested in the initial filing (requested 3 years, but received 6 months).
The stricter requirements are unrealistic when considering the nature of the IT industry, and it’s clear that the administration’s goal is to put small tech companies out of business. This lawsuit shows that tech companies do not plan to go down without a fight.
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