A memorandum concerning workers holding H-1B visas that was promulgated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been scrapped in a partial settlement of a lawsuit brought by ITServe Alliance against the federal government. The memorandum required companies that place H-1B workers with U.S. companies to continue to provide the government with information about H-1B visa holders during the balance of the visa term.
The memorandum was issued in 2018 and was widely seen as hostile to such companies as ITServe and other companies whose principal business is finding jobs in the United States for people who are eligible for H-1B visas. In the memorandum, the government accused such companies of replacing American workers with persons hired in other countries. The government defended the policies expressed in the memorandum as necessary to prevent what it called “significant employer violations” such as paying less than the required wage, paying employees less than the required wage while they allegedly waited for jobs to become available.
A coalition of American firms that place foreign workers with U.S. companies sued the Citizenship and Immigration Service asking to have the policy in the memorandum declared invalid. In March and May of this year, two federal courts ruled that the policies expressed in the memorandum were invalid. As a result of the settlement, the Citizenship and Immigration Service must cease requiring placement companies to provide a detailed itinerary of dates and locations for H-1B workers’ employment within 90 days, at which time the existing policies will become invalid.
The lawsuit includes many other issues relating to the hiring and placement of foreign nationals holding H-1B visas. Other issues in the case may be resolved through settlement, and others may require a plenary trial to obtain a judicial ruling. Anyone who questions how the outcome of this settlement and further decisions in the case may wish to contact an experienced immigration lawyer for advice.