The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lawsuit is brought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and seeks to provide the public with an understanding of the policies and procedures surrounding the H-1B visa lottery. Every year on the first business day of April, U.S. employers seeking to hire highly skilled foreign professionals submit visa petitions to USCIS for the limited number of H-1B visas that are available for the coming fiscal year. For over 10 years, employer demand for H-1B visas has exceeded the statutory cap of 65,000 visas. At any time during the first five business days of the filing period once USCIS have received more than enough petitions, USCIS uses a computer-generated random selection process to select H-1B petitions. The petitions that are not selected are returned to the employers. The lawsuit has stemmed from the fact that USCIS has not released much information in describing the selection process despite public interest in how the visa petitions are selected.
For more information about the lawsuit, please read the following court document: AILA v. USCIS and DHS
Rachel is an intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.