H-1B: S.F. tech firm sues feds over denied visa for Indian man with U.S. master’s degree

San Francisco technology firm Xterra Solutions is suing the federal government, claiming it improperly denied an H-1B visa to an Indian man, on the basis that the business systems analyst position he was to fill did not qualify for the controversial visa.

The denial in February by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of a visa for Praharsh Anisetty was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with the law,” the suit filed in Northern California U.S. District Court alleged.

Citizenship and Immigration declined to comment on the case, saying it doesn’t discuss pending litigation.

Xterra, as a technology staffing and services company, falls into a class of H-1B employers targeted under the administration of President Donald Trump, which has increased scrutiny of H-1B applications from such firms, including outsourcers, and boosted the rates at which it denies them visas.

However, newly released U.S. government data suggest Xterra — with a dozen full-time workers, according to the suit — is not a heavy user of the H-1B program, having made only one application for the visa in 2018, which appears to have been the rejected one for Anisetty, and one in 2017, which was approved. Though Xterra was founded in 2009, the government data shows no H-1B applications by the company before 2017. In contrast, major outsourcing companies such as Cognizant and Tata each received about 500 H-1B visas in 2018, according to the data.

The company claimed in the suit against Citizenship and Immigration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the visa for Anisetty was denied solely on the basis that the business systems analyst job did not qualify as a “specialty occupation.”

The H-1B, intended for jobs requiring specialized knowledge, has become a flashpoint in America’s heated immigration debate, with major tech …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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