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Managing Erroneous USCIS Rejections, Especially H-1B Cap Petitions

On April 1st USCIS transitioned to a new submission process for H-1B petitions, moving the submission of petitions from the service centers to centralized lockboxes. Unfortunately, the rollout of this transition has been far from seamless. We have seen USCIS return numerous petitions erroneously in the first two months of the new procedures.

For example, we have seen USCIS return petitions stating:

  • Boxes were not checked on the petition, when they were
  • Filing fees are missing, when the returned checks include those fees
  • Asking us to explain the purpose of a non-profit organization for a private for-profit company

Unfortunately, these rejections can have serious consequences when it comes to timely acquiring immigration benefits. USCIS typically takes at least 2-3 weeks to return a petition it rejects in the mail room. These rejections can delay the adjudication of petitions, start dates for new employees, and expected approvals for extensions.

In the context of the H-1B cap, the rejections carry extra weight. For those lucky enough to be selected in the H-1B cap lottery, USCIS provides a three month window to submit H-1B petitions. That window closes on June 30th. If USCIS receives a petition prior to June 30th, erroneously rejects the petition after that date, the company will not be able to resubmit the petition.

With this in mind, we are seeking to file H-1B petitions well before the close of the June 30th window, if possible. 

We have been successfully able to challenge the rejection of such petitions through federal court litigation. With each case we have been able to convince the agency to receipt the petition for review. However, this is an expensive and time consuming step to consider. We are here to fight until the very end to get the agency to do what it is required to do to provide immigration benefits to talented workers.


For more information, please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney.