Consulting, Outsourcing Firms Suing Over H-1B Visa Program

Outsourcing and consulting companies have filed more than 40 lawsuits against the federal government, according to a new report by Bloomberg Law. Those lawsuits, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claim that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is too aggressive when it comes to denying H-1B visa applications, which those businesses depend on for workers.

The sheer number of lawsuits is designed to force a legal decision, one way or another. “The court can’t ignore it,” Bradley Banias, attorney for Wasden and Barnwell Whaley, which represents members of the ITServe Alliance (a consortium of IT consulting firms), told Bloomberg Law. For its part, the court wants the ITServe Alliance and the federal government to consolidate the cases, although USCIS has pushed back, arguing that the legal process is already underway.

According to new data released by USCIS, the number of H-1B applications hit with an RFE (Request For Evidence) skyrocketed in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, while approvals of completed applications hit with an RFE declined noticeably year-over-year. That’s surely impacting the strategy and planning of consulting firms, and powering the current spate of lawsuits.

The ITServe Alliance’s legal campaign against USCIS began last year, with a lawsuit that accused the agency of approving visas for too short a term—weeks, in some cases, rather than the “standard” three-year term. It sought a decision that would limit the ability of USCIS to set ultra-short validity periods.

USCIS has insisted that it has broad latitude to do whatever it wants with regard to the time limits of H-1B visas. “While an H-1B petition may be approved for up to three years, USCIS will, in its discretion, generally limit the approval period to the length of time demonstrated that the beneficiary will be placed in non-speculative work and that the petitioner will maintain the requisite employer-employee relationship,” the agency wrote in a February 2018 memo, “as documented by contracts, statements of work, and other similar types of evidence.”

Meanwhile, other interest groups have filed lawsuits alleging the government isn’t moving fast enoughin its restrictions of the H-1B program. For example, in 2018, advocacy group Save Jobs USA filed a suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), arguing that the agency was taking too long to rescind the ability of certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to obtain the H-4 EAD, which would allow them to work in the United States. Whether or not that suit had any impact on the government’s scheduling, USCIS issued a proposal in February 2019 to remove “H-4 dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorization,” labeling it “economically significant.”

It’s clear at this juncture that the Trump administration’s attempts to overhaul the H-1B system will end up being a major, multi-front legal battle. Which side will win?

74 Responses to “Consulting, Outsourcing Firms Suing Over H-1B Visa Program”

  1. Now a days if you go to IT organization of any US company, you will notice, its full of people from India from top management till bottom. I request these managers to please also hire local non-Indians along with India people.

    • I wish they could hire UC Citizen too. Unfortunately, they don’t do that because they don’t make money form US citizen or green card holder. They bring people in H1 and they ask for huge amount of money for H1 sponsorship . I feel so bad for H1 candidates too, because they don’t get the money they deserve. For example, if the position is paid 100 dollars per hour from the client , the H1 consultant end up getting 25 dollars per hour. This is because there are many layers between the client and the H1 consultant. Another hidden sad truth is: the requirements for the most IT jobs are for more than 5+ years of experience to 15+ years of experiences. This job could be done by a fresh undergraduate from the college. They only need team lead or the technology manager with such experience. Another thing difficult to understand is: how Indian student as soon as they graduate from US Universities get 5+ years of experiences in IT. It doesn’t mean that I am against the H1, we want real experience H1 guys to boost our economy and strengthen out tech companies . I am telling this because consultancies provide specific training to the consultant for 1 to 2 months and provide them the job, why don’t they do with US person too.

    • LT Brown

      That is because they work cheaper than American citizens just to get ot he US and use the other “tag a long relatives option”. It is a part of their plan and the companies don’t care but American citizens do. When it comes to companies full of senior management who are liberals, it is part of the ongoing attempts to subvert our government to their control which is a violation of Federal laws. Time to chage them with subversion and sedition.

      • LT not-brown

        Liberals my ass! You obviously don’t understand how the H1B works.

        Most H1Bs are sponsored by staffing agencies that are usually owned by either people from the country they are recruiting from, or by WHITE GREEDY REPUBLICANS! To Whitey, it’s all about the $$$$ which they are skimming off those contracts. Now let’s see you charge the Repub’s with subversion and sedition.

    • I understand that it is important to utilize some cheaper / offshore / India-based technical staff to remain price-competitive when providing IT support services; however, as MK points out, the US IT onshore profession is becoming exclusively Indian; many non-citizens. Their employment is fostered by short-sighted HR objectives to reduce “human capital” costs without regard for quality or longevity of services and facilitated by lax US government policies on work visas and sponsorship. I agree with stricter H1-B regulations and support the current effort to limit these type of individuals in US industry.

      • Nothang

        do you speak (code) 4-7 computer languages, apply dataflow across the ERP, and produce US expected results using any SDLC methodology?

        If you answer yes to all of the above. you have a point. if not, STFU, go work for free for a free yrs (or school for a few yrs), get a low paying job (while in school or after), then let’s talk again.

  2. RecindH4EAD

    Trust me, the H1 workers will not leave the US because their H4 spouse cannot work. They still have a better life here with one spouse working, rather than back in their home country where both of them are working.

  3. These consulting firms need to suffer just as many Americans who have been put out of work by the consulting firms’ unethical actions. Greedy companies like these use the H1-B applicants as a way to lower salaries for well trained and talented American IT workers all the while lining their pockets with American consumer dollars. The H1-B program is a sham and many corrupt politicians have enabled it or have been complicit. Only in American can citizens be put out of work but ill trained, cheap foreigners. No wonder there are so many bugs in software these days, not to mention security breaches on networks.

  4. Venkat

    The H-1B approvals for the top 30 employers in the USA with the most initial and continuing approvals for fiscal year of 2018 has an average of 80% or more. That is still very high! but the quality of “skilled” workers from these Indian managed companies are very low, what a joke, the technical resources or what they categorized as software engineers (all fake experiences, they cannot even write the functional specs properly LOL)! they are less productive!

    • European American

      Perhaps you’re referring the workers landed here before 2005, not the recent workers. The process apparently has strengthened over the past several years. Though, you sure appear to be one who has used all dirty tricks before obtaining your green card. No? Are you shouting, now that you’ve benefited from the system? Did you also use such fake experiences to obtain your residency? If you betray your own countrymen, what is the guarantee that you won’t do the same in US?

  5. I’ve been struggling to find a permanent position in IT since 2013. I am an American citizen, highly qualified with solid experience, but I lose out to someone from India or Africa. It’s frustrating. I know wages are down, too. Consulting agencies appear to be bringing folks in to the country who are not only taking jobs from Americans, but also bringing their whole families in who then take more jobs making the situation worse. I’m hurting and struggling because the h1b visa program is too lenient. Please curtail its rampant use.

    And I think these consulting agencies are cleaning up, filling jobs with h1b folks who will work for very little while the consulting agencies rake 40% of the wages or more off of each h1b. It’s a racket. It hurts Americans. It hurts me.

  6. Two years ago, I was unable to take an amazing promotion from my US employer (I’m a US citizen) in our Canadian office. I accepted the job, got my house on the market and was packing up to go. The Canadian government has to approve all working visas–mine was denied due to the fact that my job (white collar crime analyst) was not a critical skill, and therefore could be accomplished by a Canadian citizen. Case closed. Why is the US not one of the majority of governments who do not protect citizen’s jobs?

  7. Two years ago, I was unable to take an amazing promotion from my US employer (I’m a US citizen) in our Canadian office. I accepted the job, got my house on the market and was packing up to go. The Canadian government has to approve all working visas–mine was denied due to the fact that my job (white collar crime analyst) was not a critical skill, and therefore could be accomplished by a Canadian citizen. Case closed. Why is the US not one of the majority of governments who protect citizen’s jobs?

  8. H-1B program has been abused in the I.T. world. Right now, there are so much work request and experience gained not by U.S. citizens but by H-1B workers. In time this will be a national economic concern because data, systems, etc. are on someone else’s hand.

  9. Or, these companies could hire Americans to do work in America. These consulting / outsourcing companies have gutted the market with cheap. Low skilled labor while presenting these workers as “highly skilled “. These immigration lawyers are all too happy to support the scam and long as they can line their pockets.

    • Richard F Sullivan Jr

      I had an IT job where I was 2 out of more than 30 that were US citizens. This imbalance will be negatively affecting US productivity over the next few years in my opinion.

    • John f

      Thanks for the highly intelligent post, seeing this as a white non-white issue casts you as a simpleton. This is not a white issue, it is simply an issue of to many unqualified residents of India being characterized as highly qualified for given IT roles by scam Consulting companies Accenture, Tata, Infosys and the like. Not to mention all immigrants tend to be what can be considered bigoted in their hiring. Of course it is human nature to want to be as comfortable as you can be with the people around you so you hire people like you only. This is not the way the US laws work though and so what you see now is managers of Indian decent looking to these consulting companies where 80-90% or their staffs are from India. Italian immigrants competed with Irish immigrants and the same held true for eastern European country laborers, so don’t compare Europe as a whole to India and this major scam. Finally, I have been a consultant for 25 years, these are really not consulting companies, they are more body supplementation companies as more and more companies outsource their IT departments this will further increase. I sat at what was called farewell lunch for me several years back from Accenture where the Indian Manager was discussing her work to get a resident of India a green card to replace me. I was dismissed by them. They decided to fill my position with a cheaper resource from India. And before you reply with a snarky remark, I was out of work for less than a month, and subsequently brought back to that original client I was dismissed from via a different consulting company, so it was not quality of work but dollars.

      • So true, and that is why consulting rates have fallen in the past 20 years like a rock.

        The pay for a top notch programmer today is the same as it was in the 80s, and the mighty dollar has lost its value during that time to 1/3.

      • European American

        Truthfully, this would equally be applicable for any of us. It’s an open secret that we’ve been hiring those who we were comfortable with during their interviews. If Indians or other Asians do that, why should that be an issue?

        Out of curiosity, have you voted for Mr. T in the last election? Are you ashamed?

    • European American

      I get the irony. Though, you’re perhaps reacting to these truckload of ignorant racist rants on this page. Not sure, how abusing a particular nationality is even allowed? No wonder everyone hates us as we’re poking on nose where we should not.

      Though, saying to send whites back to Europe or a person of some other race to their perceived nation or place of origin is plain racist!

      Will America ever get a president now, who can unite us all as Americans, and not based on our skin color, ideology, religion/cult or perceived nation or place of origin?

  10. John Doe

    I couldn’t agree more with the above comment. They should just abolish the H1-B program. Most of these H1-B workers in IT are garbage, no talent or experience whatsoever. Good IT professionals is hard to find. Consulting firms are hurting American workers salaries because they are hiring these people for SO much less than what they should be getting paid. Completely exploiting them and claiming diversity and inclusion. I know one instance and situation I was really close to where a consulting firm was billing a client $110-$125 an hour and only paying the IT H1-B worker $35 an hour. Ridiculously exploiting them so that the firm can increase their profit margins. The worker sucked BIG time too. No idea what they were doing and consulting firm didn’t care

  11. Richard F Sullivan Jr

    I had an IT job where I was 2 out of more than 30 that were US citizens. This imbalance will be negatively affecting US productivity over the next few years in my opinion.

    • Yeah, economy is great but could be so much better when IT staff can afford to buy/rent a house where they work (Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, even Atlanta) but pay has not risen in the last 30 years enough to cover for cost of living ONLY because of H!-B visa imports driving it down.

      These guys imported from India are getting paid Indian salaries ($10-15K per year!) plus some expenses (not even 1/2 the GSA per-diem), no medical insurance, so the ripoff companies can charge their clients a few dollars per hour less than what an American consultant would charge.

      And then they submit their tax return, and based on the $10K-15K salary they qualify for the Earned Income Credit and receive a subsidy from the US government. You and I are subsidizing this with our tax dollars.

      • European American

        It’s one thing to lie profusely. It’s all-together a different level to pull such things out of your behind. The figures you quoted will be beaten even by McDonald workers. Your talk doesn’t even have an iota of reality. Don’t demean someone just because you don’t like their origin, skin color, or that it serves your mean agenda.

        Alas, we’re living in the world of hate, more so now than ever before.

    • You should apply at a Defense company like Lockheed Martin or Raytheon. They have tons of software engineer jobs and only American citizens can get those jobs. You might be advanced software-wise but you would be a shining star.

      • I’ve seen those jobs. Most of them require an *active* Top Secret security clearance. That means in order to apply you have to be working at another defense-related company.

  12. I was laid off from major global corporation (a household name). In this low unemployment environment and supposedly acute shortage of IT skills I’ve been unable to land a single job offer. I’ve had successful track record as Software Engineer. I embrace changes in tech stack gladly and shifted from C++ to C# to Java to Python thru my career. I was Development Manager and can converse at C-suite level. And in order to make sure I was not getting obsolete I spent countless hours on hackerrank and leetcode cranking coding puzzles. I was invited to online coding pre-tests and even got to onsite interviews… Only to be told that I am either too senior for the positions (eh, too old? ) or not hands-on enough, and that’s at best, more often after being stringed along for months thru “process” I would not get any response whatsoever. It’s brutal out there, and these firms are adamant to commoditize IT folks. I have peers (from JPMorgan, Citi, Barclays, BofA) going thru same circles of hell. Their IT departments cutting and cutting and cutting, and then shedding crocodile tears they can’t find IT skills, need H1-B allocations. And job postings for the same positions popping up on job boards just few month later. See? So many unfilled positions, please congressmen do something about it soon or we will lose global competitiveness. Even Trump would be snookered by these scheming.

    • A rampant abuse of the US citizen folks who are working IT jobs is not a myth. I’m sitting here in the office and my cubicle is surrounded by Indians. My team is a 20 members team. Four are white folks. One is a Chinese looking dude. The remaining are Indians. Some of them are US citizen. Those are not are working to get a US citizen or greencard. I’m sure their kids who born here will take over the IT jobs in the future. Not afraid of their kids since they are citizen and they will be tuition slave like us in the future. Uncle Sam is not working for US citizens. He’s is working for the big IT outsourcing companies and the big tech companies like Microsoft, Google where the head honchos are Indians. Good luck American who wanted to work or are working in IT. You will need it!

      • European American

        Do you even read what you write? If they ARE citizens, how are they Indians? They’re as Americans as you or I. No? Or in your world, Americans are only a select few looking a certain way or having migrated from certain lands?

        Don’t open the can of worms. Remember, we all migrated ILLEGALLY from another land and butchered the REAL Americans and now call ourselves “Americans”.

        What a shame!

        • EuroAmerican, once an indian, always an indian, this the big difference between them and other immigrants. Don’t you ever forget, these people are a plague.
          Unless they assimilated our values, these folks will always favor their own whether they were born in the US, Australia, South Africa or any other country. They are not comfortable dealing with non-indians so they need to keep their comfort zone at all times.

  13. Chuck Tudor

    Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is too aggressive when it comes to denying H-1B visa applications, which those businesses depend on for workers.

    Too bad, so sad, hire American.

  14. JK Palmer

    I watched friends go bankrupt after conducting “knowledge transfer” to H1-B visa people and being laid off. Kids’ college funds were wiped out trying to keep the house. Retirement wiped out while execs increase profit margins and got huge bonuses for laying off American workers and hiring Indians who had poor communications skills. There should be a heavy tax on companies based on the number of H1-B visa people they have hired to level the playing field. Paying $16 per hour to an H1-B instead of $45 to an American is the reason for these lawsuits. The Hartford in CT has – or at least had – an apartment they used as a dorm with shuttle buses to transport these people to and from work. One of them told me he shared a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 other men. Hire Americans, do the “KT” with them and send all the H1-B visas home. Let these execs learn to live on a couple million a year.

  15. Y Schneider

    The H1-B Visa program is racist. Giving a preference to one race by default is discriminatory to other races. I have personally hired devs from all over the world. The idea that the only talent in IT comes from India is insulting to the rest of the world.

    Just think if 80% of the H1-Bs came from Europe only issued to whites.

    I have personally interviewed Indian H1-B visa candidates for placement at large financial institutions and rejected the candidate for lack of technical expertise and the consulting firm hired them anyway.

    Last, I was consulting and large New York Investment Banking company and had to leave because i felt so uncomfortable being a non-indian surrounded by Indians.

    At a minimum USCIS should limit the number of H1-Bs issued to Indian applicants

  16. BByron Claghorny

    The Tech-Visa/Permit situation is primarily motivated by greed to get the necessary skills at a lower cost and overhead than the cost of American workers just like the Off-shore shift in jobs. Trump is addressing this just like he did by doing, what was considered impossible, bringing Manufacturing Jobs back to the USA and USA workers and moving to control illegal immigration that is negatively impacting American workers, even USA Tech Workers.

    However, there is an even greater reason to change to an “Employ American Tech and other Skilled Workers” — You only learn a small percentage of your knowledge and skills in school and training programs — Typically, you acquire your most valuable knowledge and skills on-the-job and a diverse range of skills and areas.

    When foreign workers are hired, they benefit from this advanced training and experience — But the Company and the USA loses all this substantial gain and the resources passing it on to other countries and other companies while the USA pool of Tech Workers has been cheated and lose this valuable gain. As result of this short-sightedness, more money goes to the greedy foreign tech-placement firms and to foreign companies that should be invested in our own USA Citizens and Tech Industry employment pools improving skills, salaries through enhanced skills and experience.

    I believe that Donald Trump recognizes this drain on our Tech and other skilled resources and his policies will stem the tide of these losses for the betterment of Techs and all Americans growing our Economy and your prosperity. We can see it already, in the increased focus on policies to re-invigorate USA education fostering better Tech, Trade, Medical and other Needed Skills that lead to actual jobs and career opportunities.

    Trump and Pence not only believe in “America First”, but also “Hire Americans First”!

  17. Another displaced American

    Once when I finished my work for the day, on my way out, I passed a large supersize cubicle where about 8-12 South Asian looking folks were all together studying a book titled “C++ for Dummies” – and these are supposed to be the experts we needed that we couldn’t find here?

    • jsanunu

      Abolish the H1-B program completely as it has done more damage to US citizens. Everyone is now feeling the calamitous effects of having Indians occupy positions in these consulting firms where they now determine who to hire… they always hire Indians and have no place for non-Indians. American companies should take note of the damamge they are doing to the US workforce as a result of the H1-B visa that has enriched them due to cheap labor…

      • Oscar Netto

        The H1B visa should be stopped immediately until the Qualified US citizens are given relevant immediate jobs. Indian companies have come and screwed up the market

  18. 1.5 Trillion dollar tax cut was the first installment for Corporation and high income earners. The President has planned for the last 1.5 Trillion dollar tax cut installment to Corporation but, the House in Congress has changed. We almost made it to perfection where we wouldn’t worry about jobs and H1b Visas.

    • Pretty much. Employers value STEM graduates far *less* than they value the spreadsheet jockeys who find ways to either eliminate or devalue those jobs to the point that the American applicants are doomed to never be able to afford housing within a reasonable commute to the job and an H1-B applicant is the only “qualified” person left to fill the position.


  20. replacedworker

    Guys, we are being replaced, before even the H1B nonsense, flooded by indians, asians, then once there is an indian boss he will tend to hire his kind, Way harder to find a job these days , time to uprise and start the silicon valley revolution, contact your officials now

  21. Oh, they’re suing? BRING IT!!!! HAHAHAHA! This will be interesting. The body shops contribute huge amounts of money to our elected representatives election campaign funds (aka bribes) – and in both parties – in order to ensure any immigration law changes preserve and increase the number of H1b visas. The judges who will hear these complaints are not elected – no campaign contributions (aka bribes) to the judges.

    • Yet most of those judges are liberal, and they have a lot of connections in in industry and government. I am not confident that they will rule in favor of the American workers.

      • Actually, so-called conservative judges tend to be much more “pro-business” (and rule in favor of corporations) than their so-called liberal judge counterparts.


        We need to STOP making this issue another liberal vs. conservative issue. This is an American issue that affects all U.S. Citizens. United we stand… divided, we fall. I choose to unite.

  22. wow. US came into a situation where outside people (mostly) suing government to get their demands like H1 or faster Green Cards or any other benefits. Both political parties should sit together to block H1/L/E/F/J visas and chain immigration and free green cards. Not only visa people taking away jobs, illegals too. Random inspections to offices or retail stores is a must as well. I dont think e-verify is really implemented by every business. All must be done to save current and future generations of US born Citizens.

  23. United States Tech Workers MUST organize and pursue remedies via the court system.

    ITServe Alliance is nothing but a lobbying group that supports the interests of Indian Consulting companies based in the US, US Tech Consulting companies (who hire mostly Indians), and the US Corporations who utilize these companies. These so-called consulting firms exploit their Indian consultants and prevent US tech workers from competing for tech jobs. ITServe Alliance‘s board members and lobbyists are all Indians with the exception of one person (see

    Here are some immediate actions you can take to get involved:

    1) Follow “Save Jobs USA” at and on Facebook

    2) Tell your story re: Job Discrimination (based on National Origin) or Visa Abuse and Visa Fraud by emailing the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at

    3) Call the EEOC if you have a story/complaint re: discrimination based on your nation of origin (this includes US Citizens). US Tech Departments consist primarily of Indians (this is nothing new). Tech Depts. in the United States are consistently breaking Federal Employment Law (set forth by the EEOC) by passing up and/or laying off employees who are citizens of other countries (including US citizens).

    4) Call your US Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them your story.

    When telling your story, PLEASE REFRAIN from using any demeaning or racist language (for example: instead of saying “Indian”, utilize the phrase, “Foreign Worker”… except in cases where discrimination has occurred based on your national origin). Be smart, professional, and refrain from emotional rants. Tell your story by relying on the facts.

    I don’t know about you, but I am tired of sitting back and being a victim. We have a window of opportunity here. It’s time to fight back. Let’s organize and bring it on !!! The time is NOW !!! No more complaining… TAKE ACTION !!!

  24. I am glad that the government is called hard giving out H1B visas. Go to jobs belong to American citizens, the ones that bleed the red white and blue of the American flag not some worthless international overseas third world garbage consultants that sound like they have marbles in their mouth that you can’t even understand that you don’t want to talk to and want to just hang up on them. If it wasn’t for those marble mouth people in Third World throw away nations we would have more jobs in this country for the American citizens who the jobs belong to, the ones that are proud of the red white and blue of the American flag not international overseas consultants that sound like they have marbles in their mouth that you can’t even understand that you don’t want to talk to and want to just hang up on them. If it wasn’t for those marble mouth people in Third World nation or throw away nations we would have more jobs in this country for the American citizens and those jobs would pay the American citizens a better living wage for the middle class. My opinion get rid of all of the H1B visa’s we don’t need those marble mouth people doing the jobs that belong to American citizens. Those countries of garbage and worthless they barely even have indoor plumbing and most of them have to crap in a hole in the floor and wipe their backside with their hand.

  25. Back when the economy tanked there was plenty of ‘skilled’ american it labor that wasn’t hired because they weren’t indian and there was a glut of that labor available under obozo.
    And in a great economy the glut of sub par indian workers will STILL driving wages down for american IT workers. Also, if you look at IT these days it’s %75 indian so the nepotism is absurd. Its a scam and hopefully trumps harsher requirements will take this foot off the american workers necks

    • European American

      Neither tRump nor someone else can do anything about this. It’s an interconnected world. If you’re not fit, you will be trampled. If you’re not smart enough, you’ll be thrown out. Deal with it.

      Oh, and sorry to burst your bubble… Not!

  26. After reading the difficulties faced by American Citizens because of visa abuse, felt real sad. What current government is doing is correct in a way. Weed out H or L visas, who are paid Level 1 wages. Keep only the folks who get paid higher salaries, and companies automatically will opt for highly skilled candidates who deserves such pay.

    Also, if US needs to be competitive, the visa system also needs to be over-hauled to get visa in 1 month after meeting companies’ requirements instead of one year. This is where consulting companies came into picture, first tried to facilitate these inconveniences and now exploit.

    This might be a right step, though there is an immediate dip in economy because of movement of tax paying foreigners, Americans will replace them over time. The immediate risk US should be willing to take is not to loose out in the race for supremacy (China at the heels of US) increase STEM education and americans get back to the roots which built this nation. Since this is first time USCIS putting curbs on visas, US government should keep a close watch on how projects are getting completed and without any delay. Also check if the work is getting outsourced out of country like it happened for Manufacturing and citizens can’t dream of a career in manufacturing in US.