Nearly 70 Indian Nationals Takes Legal Action Against US Government Over Visa Rejections

A Group of Nearly 70 Indian Nationals Takes Legal Action Against US Government Over Visa Rejections Linked to Employer Fraud. In a significant move, close to 70 Indian nationals have initiated legal proceedings against the US government, citing visa denials attributed to their employers’ fraudulent activities. This issue has been brought to the forefront through a report by Bloomberg Law.

These individuals, who are part of a program designed for foreign graduates of US educational institutions, assert their innocence in regard to any misconduct on their employers’ part. Despite this, they’ve suffered adverse consequences due to their associations, without being granted the opportunity to present their own side of the story.

This lawsuit has been lodged in a federal district court in the state of Washington. The complaint targets the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), accusing it of rejecting H-1B specialty occupation visas for these workers, despite their legitimate employment with reputable companies.

Jonathan Wasden, an attorney from Wasden Law, representing the plaintiffs, points out that the DHS seems to have assumed guilt for anyone affiliated with these companies, suggesting involvement in fraudulent activities to secure visas or immigration benefits. The plaintiffs are now seeking legal intervention to challenge the DHS’s decisions on visa applications and to ensure they have the chance to address fraud allegations before any determinations are made about their eligibility to enter the United States.

The lawsuit contends that the DHS violated the Administrative Procedure Act by exceeding its authority and labeling the plaintiffs as inadmissible without a comprehensive record of evidence. Furthermore, the agency’s actions are criticized for being procedurally flawed, lacking proper notification to visa applicants about the actions taken against them.

The plaintiffs were employed by four IT staffing firms—Andwill Technologies, AzTech Technologies LLC, Integra Technologies LLC, and WireClass Technologies LLC. These companies were permitted to participate in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and were certified through the E-Verify employment verification system.

While the lawsuit acknowledges that the DHS uncovered fraudulent activities by these companies, it raises concerns that the agency treated the affected students as if they were accomplices to the fraudulent acts, rather than victims themselves.

Siddhartha Kalavala Venkata, one of the individuals named in the lawsuit, shared his distress after being denied entry to the US. Despite working at Integra through the OPT program and attempting to transition from an F-1 visa to an H-1B visa, his H-1B application was rejected based on suspicions of fraud or intentional misrepresentation.

The plaintiffs argue that the DHS violated the Immigration and Nationality Act by failing to provide notice of actions like visa sanctions and denying them the opportunity to respond with evidence. They emphasize that the DHS should have followed a proper procedure, which involves notifying affected parties and granting them the chance to address the allegations brought against them.

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