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Federal Court Confirms Employer is Right To File H-1B Petitions for Programmer Occupations

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

In a tight high tech labor market, employers welcome a federal court’s decisions overruling arbitrary and capricious DHS H-1B adjudications. In the past several years, DHS routinely denied petitions by US employers involving computer programmer occupations. It dictated employers what the true minimum educational requirements are. A federal court reined this conduct in, which could not be more timely as the need for programmers helping develop computer software is only growing.

On December 16, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit filed its opinion on Innova Solutions, Inc. v. Baran. The case involved technology company Innova Solutions, Inc., who had filed a H-1B visa petition for a foreign worker under the specialty occupation of Computer Programmer. USCIS had denied the company's petition, arguing that Computer Programmer was not a specialty occupation because the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) "did not state that a bachelor's degree or its equivalent" was typically the minimum level of education required for the position. The court concluded that USCIS' denial of the petition was "arbitrary and capricious" and that it misrepresented the OOH's explanation of the education requirements of a computer programmer.

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Leyla McMullen

Business Immigration Attorney


NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This article is for educational purposes only, it is not legal advice that may be applicable to our situation

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.


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