Denied H-1B Visa To Indian Techie, Silicon Valley Firm Sues US Government

A Silicon Valley-based IT company has filed a lawsuit against the US government for denying the most sought-after H-1B visa to a highly qualified Indian professional, terming the renunciation “arbitrary” and a “clear abuse of discretion”.

Xterra Solutions alleged in its lawsuit that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) improperly denied H-1B visa to Praharsh Chandra Sai Venkata Anisetty, 28, whom it had hired as a Business System Analyst.

The company’s H-1B petition on behalf of Mr Anisetty was denied on the sole ground that the job offered to him did not qualify as an H-1B specialty occupation, the lawsuit said. “The denial is not supported by substantial evidence in the record, is contrary to established legal precedent, and is arbitrary, capricious and constitutes a clear abuse of discretion,” the company alleged and urged the Northern District of California US District Court to set aside the USCIS order.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The most sought-after visa has an annual numerical limit cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year as mandated by the US Congress. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a US masters degree or higher are exempt from the cap.

Mr Anisetty holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Electronics and Communication Engineering) as well as a Master’s of Science degree in Information Technology and Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. He currently holds valid H-4 dependent status through his wife, the principal beneficiary of an H-1B application.

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