Its about that time of the year when the Government will start accepting cap subject H-1B petitions for the Fiscal year 2013, which starts on October 01, 2012. The Obama Administration promised to Silicon Valley recently that they would ease the immigration laws for High Tech graduates.  Yet for small computer consulting companies, the outlook seems bleak.

Computer Consulting Companies specialize in recruiting and placing consultants in bigger companies. Many times one consulting company has contract with another who then in turn has a contract with a big company. This is the nature of their business.  In 2010, the Government in a memo created a new law that the employers should have “Direct control” over their employees. The Government then said that where there are intermediates between the employer and the end user of the employee, the employer does not have control.  The government requires a huge amount of proof and often letters from the end user saying that they don’t control the employee. The end users often refuses to bother with such things. After all, if they wanted the hassle of an employee-employer relationship, they would recruit themselves.

The burden on small consulting companies is onerous.  In a recent memo, the Government has said that they don’t require any particular type of document, including letters from the end user, but the companies have to prove by a preponderance of evidence that they control the employee. And the Government of course gets to decide whether there is preponderance of evidence. This is like the fox guarding the hen house.  Also very often contracts are given for a short duration, and is thereby extended. But letters from the end user that the contract may be extended is not enough. The Government will make the duration of the H-1B for a few months for the duration of the contract. Then the petitioner has to file again.

If the Government denies an H-1, the beneficiary has to leave the country. An appeal takes forever and is simply not cost efficient for the Petitioner to do.  So the government gets away with whatever they want. So very few of these cases make it to the Judiciary.  In a recent case, Residential Financial Corporation, 2:12-cv00008, the Government challenged whether the Court has jurisdiction since the plaintiff did not ask specifically to get the beneficiary back. The federal Court (Southern District of Ohio) said that the Government did not provide the Employer and employee , “A Bare minimum level of professionalism, diligence and reasoning.”

And that is how the H-1B petitions are being adjudicated. Of course getting the visa form a consulate in India is harder and more capricious, but that will take pages and another blog.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information