Association Specialising in IT Services Hit US Immigration Body With Lawsuit Over H1-B Visas
IT Service Alliance, a non-profit trade association based in New Delhi representing a large number of IT firms, has took to the US courts regarding the Trump administration’s recent ‘zero-tolerance’ policy after it affected the length of time an H-1B visa can be issued for.
They’ve issued a lawsuit against the immigration bodies which said that US laws allowed those with an H-1B visa a three-year duration prescription. However, new laws that have been issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have resulted in the visa only being issued for a matter of days or months, according to the Times of India.
They provided some examples where visas were only granted for 12 days, whilst in other cases, notices for approval had been sent after the approved-visa has already expired. For instance, one example showed an H-1B visa being granted for the dates covering the 15th June to August 10th, 2018, which is a total of 56 days. However, the notice was sent on August 29th which is after the expiry date, deeming the process irrelevant.
Other cases included visas being granted for really short periods such as 28 days and 54 days.
IT Service Alliance claimed the changes made as unlawful, challenging whether the USCIS had the authority to make changes to the granted visas. Since Donald Trump’s presidential reign began, there have been a host of policies introduced to restrict the issuing of H1-B visas which are popular among Indian immigrants. India has raised the issue countless times with the US and despite receiving reassurances, the crackdown continues.
Changes made in the crackdown includes the suspension of faster processing times for H-1B visas. This has resulted in longer waiting periods for the approval process as well as renewals for those who have expired legal statuses to remain in America. This is down to reasons such as individuals having their visa extension applications denied.
Times of India reported that the USCIS implemented the rule of shorter H-1B visas was implemented back in February 2018. The document outlined that applications for the visas required sufficient evidence to support the process including detailed customer contracts and itineraries for the employees.
The USCIS also managed to gain approval of acquiring freedom to limit the approvals of the shorter duration visas. This allowed the proof being acquired of employees needed for particular projects with specialisation. However, the lawsuit argues that providing requirements such as the employees’ itinerary are beyond the USCIS’s power and that the changes made are unlawful.