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Sometimes the way to beat USCIS is to punch back

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Sometimes the way to beat USCIS is to punch back. In the Spring of 2018, we filed an H-1B application for a healthcare software company in Indiana. They wanted to sponsor the woman who programs, designs, and maintains most of their software.

USCIS has made things much harder on H1Bs lately, sending out lots of bogus requests for evidence and denials. They did that here, sending an 11 page request for evidence, asking for additional proof on every part of the application. We responded with hundreds of pages of additional documents.

USCIS denied the case. In doing so, they were sloppy and mistaken – they got basic details of the company and the job wrong, and it seemed like they simply ignored wide parts of the application.

There is an appeal process for H-1Bs, This process does work sometimes, but it’s time consuming and frequently leads to an upholding of the decision, despite evidence that the decision was wrong. So we sued them in federal court instead. We pointed out that the request for evidence and the denial made basic mistakes, and got key facts wrong.

This got USCIS’ attention. After a few weeks, we got one further request for evidence asking for some very basic information that we had already given them.

We thought that this was their way of surrendering without admitting that they did anything wrong. We were right about that. We responded, and within a couple of weeks this extremely long-pending case had been approved. There is sometimes more than one route to get the result that you want from USCIS, and it pays to think creatively about which one to use.