Washington, January 24: In a setback to US-based IT companies that hire foreign nationals on H-1B visa, a district court dismissed their plea against submission of detailed evidence regarding applicants. H-1B category is a non-immigrant visa, the most sought-after among highly-skilled Indian professionals, that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. H-1B Visa: 'No Plan to Impose Caps', Says US Amid Reports of Restricting India's Share.
In 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asked companies which placed their H-1B employees at third-party clients to produce a plethora of evidence which includes detailed itineraries of the H-1B workers both about the duration and location of the client sites and client contracts, Times of India reported. This led to a significant increase in the number of denials of H-1B applications by IT service companies. H-1B Visa Allocation to Top 5 Indian IT Firms Drops by 49%, US Restrictions Compel Tech Companies to Hire More Locals.
Kollasoft Inc, a US-headquartered company, which provides IT solution services, and ten other companies having a similar business model, challenged the new rules. However, a US district court refused to set aside it. "At this stage, the February 2018 memo still stands and USCIS can be guided by it when employers file H-1B petitions on behalf of workers assigned to third- party client sites,” Cyrus Mehta, founder of a New York-based immigration law firm, was quoted as saying.
The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. In April 2017, US President Donald Trump, had issued the 'Buy American and Hire American Executive Order', instructing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to "propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of US workers in the administration of our immigration system."