A US federal court recently approved a settlement under which the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had to agree to classify ‘Market Research Analyst’ as a specialty occupation. This means that foreign nationals employed as market research analysts can now apply for an H-1B Visa.
What Is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B Visa is for highly skilled foreign workers in occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. They need to be employed in a specialty occupation or equivalent at the entry-level.
What Was the Lawsuit?
Earlier, the USCIS did not classify market research analyst as a specialty occupation based on the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publication that profiled hundreds of occupations in the US job market. This publication is known as the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The class-action lawsuit was filed by the following organizations in the federal district court Northern District of California:
- American Immigration Council
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- The law firm's Van Der Hout LLP, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC
The settlement was approved by the federal district court and will also allow companies to request the USCIS to reopen and re-adjudicate their previously denied petitions for an H-1B Visa worker employed as a market research analyst. This presents a unique opportunity for US employers to have their H-1B Visa petitions approved under new guidelines established by the parties to the lawsuit.