Home News US court dismisses case against H-1B visa lottery system

US court dismisses case against H-1B visa lottery system

case against H1B visa lottery

A United States court has dismissed a lawsuit that questioned the lottery system utilized to decide successful applicants for H-1B visas, the complete sought after by Indian IT firms & professionals.

The decision by a federal judge in Oregon indicates that there will be no difference in the H-1B visa issuance process for fiscal 2018 which starts on April 3.

As a conclusion, successful H-1B visa applicants are assumed to be decided by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) by a lottery system.

The USCIS receives numerous applications for H-1B visas than the Congressionally mandated limit of 65,000 in the general category & another 20,000 for those international students who have masters or higher degree from a United States academic institution.

Two firms filed the case against the lottery system from Portland — Tenrec Inc, a web development company, & Walker Macy, a landscape architecture firm.

In its 31-page order last week, United States District Court Judge Michael Simon upheld USCIS’s argument that an H-1B visa application is not recognized as filed except a lottery determines it.

“Because Congress left to the discretion of the USCIS how to handle simultaneous submissions, even if petitions are considered ‘filed’ immediately upon delivery, the USCIS has discretion to decide how best to order those petitions,” Simon told.

“Plaintiffs offer no suggestion of how to order 150,000 petitions being delivered on the same day that is less arbitrary than a random computer selection. If a carrier delivers bags of envelopes containing petitions, it is just as arbitrary to order them based on how the envelopes are removed from the delivery bag as it is to randomly select the petitions from a computer,” the judge told.

The USCIS resorts to a computerized draw of lots if the no. of H-1B applications crosses the Congressional assigned quota in the first 5 days later it begins taking the petitions every year in the month of April.

“The Court recognises that the practical implication of this rule is that every petition will be subject to the random computer-generated selection process in years when the numbers of petitions needed to meet the statutory cap are met in the first five days,” the judge told.

Attorney Brent Renison, who represented the 2 Portland companies told the court did not say the lottery was the excellent way to distribute visas, simply a permissible way.

“While we disagree with the court’s ultimate ruling which defers to the agency, we note that Congress can change the system for the better,” he told.


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