Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers: Texas Supermarket Advocates for Immigrant Worker

H-E-B, a Texas-based supermarket chain, has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the denial of a request to extend an H-1B visa for one if its workers. The move was made after a previously approved extension was revoked following claims of clerical errors.

The case involves a female computer programmer hired by H-E-B in 2009 to work in the U.S. as a senior developer. In 2012, the woman, a citizen of India, had been approved for an extension of her H-1B visa, valid through September 2014. In June of 2014, H-E-B requested a second extension for the woman, which would allow her to continue working in the U.S. through September 2017.

H-1B visas are designed to allow U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require a high degree of education or technical expertise. Employers must petition on behalf of the worker. H-1B visas are typically approved for a temporary employment of three years, with the possibility of an extension for a maximum stay of up to six years.

Though an extension through September 2017 would have exceeded the typical six-year allowance, H-E-B argued that the woman was eligible for the extra time because she was a dependant of her husband, who had been working in the U.S. under a separate foreign visa. The petition was successful and the extension was approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS.)

Complications arose, however, upon the woman’s return to the U.S. after a brief trip abroad last July. At that time, she was readmitted by customs agents based on her first extension, leaving her with only two months to remain in the U.S. When H-E-B asked USCIS to update their records to reflect the second extension, they were notified by the agency that an error had been made and they were revoking their prior decision to allow the extension.

The agency claims that the approval should not have been made because the woman does not qualify as the beneficiary of her husband’s immigrant visa. H-E-B argues in its lawsuit that the USCIS interpretation of “beneficiary” runs contrary to its prior interpretation of immigration law.

The supermarket chain is optimistic that the matter will be resolved in their favor before May 10, 2015 when the woman’s visa is currently set to expire.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Advocate for Foreign Workers in the U.S.

Immigration law can be extremely complex and mistakes can have dire consequences. No matter what your situation, having a seasoned Philadelphia immigration lawyer on your side can make all the difference. At Surin & Griffin, P.C., our dedicated multi-lingual immigration attorneys have been helping clients in all aspects of immigration law for more than 15 years. To schedule your consultation with one of our knowledgeable and highly skilled Philadelphia immigration lawyers, call 215-925-4435 today, or submit an online contact form. Our office is conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, and is easily accessed by all forms of public transportation.