IT Serve Alliance vs Cissna

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We all knew that Citizenship and Immigration Service was acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner in adjudicating H-1B cases. What we needed was a case and a Judge to tell them so. IT Serve Alliance vs. Cissna (hereinafter IT Serve) is that case.
Before we get into the case, let’s get the politics out of the way. This problem with IT consulting companies was happening from 2010—with the Neufeld memo on control. This was in response to a huge number of fraudulent cases being filed by computer consulting companies. This case does not give IT Consulting Companies a carte blanche to file whatever they want. The employee still needs to qualify in a IT related specialty, although now, I do think that an Engineering Degree in certain specialties might qualify—-depending on the degree’s nexus to IT. I still don’t think, for instance, a degree in chemical engineering will suffice for just an IT consultant.
Procedurally, the case is a combination of 30 cases. We will not deal with other procedural matters discussed in this case since it has no bearing on Employers or Employees. This blog is written to help H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries.
This case came from the DC Circuit Court. Since Citizenship and Immigration Service is headquartered in DC, all offices of Citizenship and Immigration Service is bound by this decision. That stuff is for lawyers, and I can tell you its great for us. It takes away the way Citizenship and Immigration Service handled matters as a supreme dictator.


We do not require the utterly stupid control letters up the chain to the end client. The court upheld the 1991 regulation which states that the employer must show the
1. The ability to hire, OR
2. Ability to fire, OR
3. To pay, OR
4. To Supervise, Or
5. To Control.

The Court noted that OR does not mean AND. Therefore some document showing the ability to do any one of the following will suffice. For a new or transfer, I think just an offer letter and acceptance will be enough. So say Adios to the 2010 Nuefeld Control Memo.

Specialized Knowledge:

The court held that Specialty occupation, as defined in 8 USC § 1184.1 is
Specialty Occupation is an OCCUPATION that requires theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge in the fields of human endeavor.
Therefore it is NOT the Job Description, not the JOB, but the OCCUPATION. The Court says, “Specialized Occupation would likely encompass a host of jobs, from trainee to expert, along with expert along with concomitant but different personal job duties.

As you know, there are four prongs for Specialty Occupation:
1. Baccalaureate of higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position,
2. Requirement of such Degree is Common in the Industry
3. Employer Normally Requires a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in a related field OR
4. Job is Complex
This would take away the inane percentage of time that we would put into our job description.
The Court also did away with Defensor v. Meissner in a single footnote, (FN 13) so we would NOT require any bullshit from end client

An Itinerary is not required. The court basically told the Citizenship and Immigration Service to give the required three years. The court says that benching employees is OK, as long as the employer continues to pay for that employee.
H-1B regulations do not address furlough. Therefore one can argue that the State Employment Law controls.

1 IT Serve does not address “Material Change” for Amendment, so Simieo is still good law. One have to file an amendment, but in doing so, would require less burden of proof
2 IT Serve does not address why some SOC Codes are better than others—-ie why Systems Analyst is suddenly not a specialized SOC. However a lawsuit will be filed regarding this issue, so stay tuned for future development

We will change our petitions to reflect this case. The Citizenship and Immigration Service should have new memos after this case, but I doubt that will happen under this administration, or until Steven Miller loses control.

Visitor’s Visa Extension due to CoronaVid

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Travelers enter the United States for visits either through a visitor’s visa or under a Visa Waiver Treaty (also known as ESTA, since they have to register online before travelling). In either case, everyone got stuck (Stung? ) by Covid and travel restrictions beyond their visa’s allotted time. What does this do to their status?
Here is my perspective:
CoronaVid, travel advisory and airplane schedules are changing every day. So I would wait until closer to the the visa expiry date.
The Law:
B-1 visitors are advised to file an extension on form I-539
VWP and Satisfactory Departure: According to 8CFR § 217.3 9 9 (a) “If an emergency prevents an alien admitted under this part from departing from the United States within his or her period of authorized stay, the district director having jurisdiction over the place of the alien’s temporary stay may, in his or her discretion, grant a period of satisfactory departure not to exceed 30 days. If departure is accomplished during that period, the alien is to be regarded as having satisfactorily accomplished the visit without overstaying the allotted time.”

Many Field Offices and CBP offices are stamping the passport for 30 days extension.

Problems with the Law:

Obviously the law did not anticipate the Covid pandemic. The extension of B-1 visa via I-539 form is expensive and takes forever for the Government to decide. There is a chance, however unlikely at this stage, of a denial, impacting future travel. Note: File online, Citizenship and Immigration Service is relaxing those blue ink signature requirements

Satisfactory Departure is good for 30 days only and making an infopass appointment is very hard.

We have been hearing that Citizenship and Immigration Service might grant status without any filing until this crisis is over. We have not heard anything from Citizenship and Immigration Service yet

CoVid Updates

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Here are the recent updates for Covid:
1 The USCIS has suspended all interviews and naturalization ceremonies until at least April 1
2. USCIS has suspended Premium Processing
3. USCIS WILL accept scanned signatures and is not mandating “actual” ink signatures.