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AIC, Aug. 30, 2021
"This nationwide class action lawsuit challenges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analyst positions filed by United States businesses.
The complaint alleges that USCIS unlawfully denies H-1B petitions for market research analysts by misinterpreting the term “specific specialty” in the statute and the word “normally” in the first regulatory test. In applying the first regulatory test, USCIS also misinterprets the Occupational Outlook Handbook—a publication of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that profiles hundreds of occupations in the United States job market—on which USCIS relies.
The lawsuit was filed at the federal district court in the Northern District of California by the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Joseph & Hall, P.C., Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC, and Van Der Hout, LLP.
On August 30, 2021, the District Court preliminarily approved the parties’ settlement agreement. The court scheduled a fairness hearing for October 19, 2021. Class members have until October 4, 2021 to file objections to the proposed settlement agreement. The proposed settlement provides a remedy for class members who filed market research analyst H-1B petitions on or after January 1, 2019, which USCIS denied on the ground that the OOH does not establish that market research analyst is a “specialty occupation” under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(a)(1) and, but for USCIS’ finding regarding the OOH entry for market research analyst, the H-1B petitions would have been approved.