Can one challenge an H1B visa? How?

My understanding of the H1B program is that it’s supposed to be for companies that can’t find qualified American workers in technical and scientific fields. Is there a way I can challenge an H1B visa application at my company without them knowing about it? The applicant is currently on a student visa (fresh out of school) and is going to be doing work I am qualified to do. I’ve recently almost been laid off for “lack of work”. (I’ve been there many years with good reviews and have many more years of experience)

The company has hired many other H1B workers, and from my experience and experience talking to other older tech workers who can’t find a job, I think this whole program is a travesty.

I’m sorry you have lost your job. However, getting this kid fired isn’t the way to get your own job back.

You neglect to mention what is probably your much larger salary which may be an important factor in their decision to hire a new graduate.

You also neglect to mention if you have a college degree and whether the new kid does. You’ve heard of the “glass ceiling”? While a non-graduate may have a lot more specific knowledge because of their time in the industry, management may have decided that they want people with a “formal education” in the higher levels of a field. While a new graduate may not have the technical or day-to-day knowledge you have, it’s felt (sometimes incorrectly) that a college graduate will display better all-around skills (communication, reporting, organization, management) by virtue of their education.

So, the specs for a position may list education and/or experience because it leaves open the possibilty of promoting from within, but it also opens the door for the company to hire lower-cost, higher educated labor, without having to answer to lower-placed, high-cost, older employees.

I’m sorry, I mis-read. I see that you did not lose your job.

This isn’t addressing my OP which is, is it possible to protest an H1B visa? Don’t employers have to prove that they can’t find someone in the U.S.?

Hiring someone from overseas because they are cheaper is NOT a good reason for issuing an H1B visa.

Best place to start is probably to call your Congressman.

They have to prove that they have taken “reasonable steps to find someone” and haven’t found anybody. The “reasonable steps” can be very unreasonable: anybody who advertises in “Nature” for an organic chemist with computational chemistry experience and a good analytical background is advertising for the job but not very well; I’ve seen this done both by mistake (the company was used to looking for biologists, for which Nature is a good source) and on purpose (the company already had picked someone but needed to “go through the steps”). Rather than go lawyer, have you considered speaking with your bosses/HR?

You are really spitting upwards on this one. If they got someone less qualified for a job, you bet this new guy has some connections up there. As for challenging the visa, your complain would be not to the INS but to the Department of Labor. They take forever and a half to process a case, good luck with trying to challenge one.

I don’t mean to put you down, it is just that you are going to be trying to challenge a decision made by the guys in charge of your job and potential promotions. Proceed very carefully.

Talk to whichever superior is there that you are friendly with and find out how that decision was made, before you challenge it.

No, they don’t. They would only need to do that to get this employee a green card. To get an H-1B for an employee, they just have to show that the job requires a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a particular field; that the employee has the necessary qualifications; and that they are paying at least the prevailing wage for the position and the geographic area. The only way they would need to prove they tried to hire U.S. workers first would be if the company is “H-1B dependent” (that more than a certain proportion of its workers, usually 15%, are in H-1B status).

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

I highly doubt that you can grind your axe against the company, using the intern as an expedient without making it clear that you are the one complaining.

If you want to challenge it openly, you quite possibly can. If when you say your company hires many other H1B workers, you mean 15% of their workforce, you have an easier time challenging it, because theen are considered an H1B dependant organization and they have to prove that they’ve really looked for a US applicant.

Did you apply for this opening when it was posted? Is it doing the same work you currently do now?

Maybe there is a reason you are not privvy to that this position was created.

More than 15% of the employees are H1B workers, in fact, it’s more like 25 -30%. If this were not the case I wouldn’t even be asking about this process.

Honestly, I’ve never done any work for an H-1B dependent company. But I’m curious - how do you happen to be privy to the immigration status of your co-workers?

If you want to file a complaint because you think the company hasn’t done the required recruitment, I’d say you should file it with USCIS and/or the Department of Labor. If you want to file a complaint because you think the employer isn’t paying the salary they said they were paying, or because they have misrepresented the terms and conditions of the foreign national’s employment, you should go to the Department of Labor. But if you disagree with the fact that the employer is requiring more, or different, educational or professional qualifications than you think they should require, even if they are ones that are excluding you, you are most likely out of luck.

By the way, the salary only needs to be the prevailing wage for the minimum level of education and experience normally required to do the job, which may or may not be the salary you are earning. So if the job just requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and you have a bachelor’s degree plus 10 years of experience, for example, the company isn’t required to hire the most experienced person and compensate him/her according to experience; they can hire anyone who meets the minimium qualifications.

Where I work it’s pretty obvious who has an H1B visa because the people involved talk about it freely. The individual in question was hired on a student visa while still on this visa.

This person was practically standing in my cube while talking about how to get an H1B visa. They have not obtained it yet, which is why I was wondering how to protest. I’m not interested in taking an H1B away from anyone who already has one.

This isn’t sour grapes, this is my livelihood I’m talking about. As I mentioned I was almost laid off for lack of work and I’d always gotten stellar reviews. I am not overpaid, nor am I in some bloated position. I’m just a regular worker. Our company shuffles work around to different people according to who has time, and everyone involved in this little scenario has the same title.

OK, I probably shouldn’t be jumping in here to make a lame funny. But the first 3 Google ads are for H1B Visa Services and IT Jobs in the US. The 4th Google ad is “Hiring Gifted Psychics.”

I will add 2 cents as an HR person. IMHO the H1B program is a good program and serves a purpose. That said, like all HR regulations there are almost certainly some companies that don’t operate within the letter or the spirit of the law. It is not uncommon for employees to complain about such companies. Also, the government agencies in question are usually willing to explain the complaint procedures without you having to identify yourself, and will let you know to what extent you can protect your confidentiality while complaining, and whether there is legal protection against retaliation. However, filing a legal complaint against your employer is almost always a personally draining experience, and you need to weigh whether it’s worth it to you.