No More H1-B Denials for IT Service Companies, Declares US District Court

In a recent victory for IT service firms, a US District court ruled in favor of approving H1-B visas for petitioners working in third-party sites. Beginning 2010, USCIS denied an H1-B petition if he was to work at a client site based on a lack of evidence in employer-employee relationship.

H1-Bs Granted: 2,145 altogether for 6 service firms; 2,399 just for Amazon

Here’s how IT Service Firms were targeted

While US tech firms like Amazon and Google consistently got a 92% H1-B approval rate, service and consultancy companies like Infosys, Wipro and TCS had an average of 50% denials. An unattainable burden of proof was laid on these firms to establish employee-employer relationship when the beneficiary was placed to work at a client site. They were expected submit detailed work itineraries, job descriptions, client contracts and daily schedules with percentage of time allotted for each task within the project.

50% H1Bs Denied in 2019

A US Court for the District of Columbia invalidated these requirements as a criteria to deny an H1-B petition. Here’s what the Courts ruled –

  • The establishment of an employer-employee relationship should not be grounds for an h1-B denial.
  • USCIS can no longer demand unreasonable details on beneficiaries work assignments reducing the paperwork expected for an H1-B petition.
  • USCIS will have to justify reasons why an H1-B petition was not granted for at least three years. The past years had USCIS granting H1-B visas from a week to six-month durations.
  • USCIS to take action on all pending H1-B petitions held up for these reasons within the next 60 days.
  • 2019 had a 48% increase in RFEs issued compare to the 22% in 2015. This new ruling should reduce the number of RFEs issued on the basis of insufficient paperwork.

In a recent visit to India, President Trump said that the US government will ease the regulations for Indian IT firms to operate within the US with ease. He did not comment on the increasing H1-B denial rates or the future of H4 EAD.