In a major victory for H-1B employers, a US court has approved a settlement under which an American immigration agency has agreed to recognize market research analyst as a specialty occupation for the purposes of determining the applications of H-1B visas, most sought-after by Indian IT experts.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US organizations to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology organizations rely upon it to hire a huge number of employees every year from nations like India and China.
The settlement approved by the federal district court in the Northern District of California would now allow organizations to request that the USCIS reopen and re-adjudicate their denied H-1B petitions.
Based on its earlier interpretation of the Occupational Outlook Handbook. A Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publication profiling many occupations in the US job market. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that market research analysts didn’t qualify as a “specialty occupation“.
Major victory for H-1B employers as USCIS qualifies as a specialty occupation
Leslie K Dellon, senior attorney (business immigration) at the American Immigration Council, said that this settlement is a significant victory. That will help many American businesses and the market research analysts they sought to employ.
“The settlement allows US businesses one more opportunity to have their H-1B market research analyst petitions approved. This time under new guidance was worked out by the parties to the lawsuit. Every H-1B petition reopened and approved will represent another opportunity for US employers and the workers they sponsored to advance their business goals,” she said.
The class-action lawsuit was filed by the American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association. Also, the law offices Van Der Hout LLP, Berry Appleman and Leiden LLP (formerly Joseph and Hall PC), and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC.
Jeff Joseph, a partner at Berry Appleman and Leiden LLP, said this settlement finally resolves an issue. On which immigration lawyers have been battling the government for years.
“This settlement strikes the right balance between what the regulations actually say. And how employers evaluate an applicant’s professional qualifications in reality. It is our genuine expectation that USCIS will currently interpret other specialty occupations. From a perspective that is in line with what actually happens in the free market,” he said.