USCIS policy against IT staffing companies encourages outsourcing

Recently, the USCIS, particularly, the California Service Center has imposed requirements on IT staffing companies employing H-1b workers that are not found in any statute or regulations.  The requirement to produce contracts from parties with which the petitioner has no direct relationship is impossible to meet and the Service Center knows it ! That, is in fact their aim, to be as obstructionist as possible. Instead of applying the statutes passed by Congress and the regulations promulgated through the Administrative Procedures Act and subject to notice and comment i.e. a hearing by the public, they have chosen to arbitrarily act in an uniformed and misguided attempt to “protect the helpless Amercian worker” Kudos to the goal but, the execution gets a resounding “abject failure”.  I happened to have a case recently that represents the idiocy of the Califronia service Center policy.  The Petitioner (Co. A) had a contract with Co. B who had a contract with Co. C (the end client). For those of you who are familiar with the staffing industry, such an arrangement is the norm rather than the exception.  Entire cos. are built on such contrcatual relationships. The CSC demanded the contract between Co. B and C, and my client who has no relationship with Co. C could simply not produce the required contract. Alternative proof, including a letter from Co. C verifying the relationsip and the job description was produced but, ignored by the CSC and the case was denied. I, being filled with righteous indignation, advised my client to file an appeal because surely the appeals unit would look at the evidence with a fair and unbiased eye and approve the petition. Unofrtunately, I told my client that the filing fee for an appeal is $585.00, attorney fees were ridculously exorbidant, and it would take 14-18 months for the case to be heard, and I added, in the interim, the employee could not keep working but, would have to leave the US and wait abroad for a decision. (clearly, the lack of a speedy appeal process and interim work authorization is one of the reasons that the CSC can act with such incredulity. There are simply no repurcussions when they flaunt the law and turn a blind eye to facts and evidenec submitted) My client, being a brilliant business person, had another option. He simply convinced the Co. B and C, the end client to move the project overseas to his development office in Secunderabad, India. Two of the three U.S. workers assigned to the project at the end client were offered the opportunity to transfer to India and when they declined, 3 more off-shore positions were created for Indians abroad.  Way to go California Service Center ! In one failed swoop, you were able to keep an H-1b worker from working in the U.S., paying taxes, renting an apt, buying a car, etc. all horirble things, and at the same time, eliminate the work for 2-3 U.S. workers. I’m sure they appreciated you “protecting” them. But, hey look at the bright side, you made 3 Indians in Secunderabad very happy ’cause they now have a new project to work on.  

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