Skip to main content

If you are applying for an H1-B or are looking to apply for a work visa, a new case before the Supreme Court could have a major impact on how USCIS is permitted to interpret its own ambiguous rules and regulations. When it comes to H1-B applications and other immigration applications, many cases are left up to individual immigration officers to decide. The general public is often not aware of just how much power individual immigration officers are given when they look at a specific case. Yes, individuals have the right to appeal a decision. But, when it comes to getting a visa, the case is often in the hands of a single officer to decide.

According to Forbes, a case before the Supreme Court (Kisor v. Wilkie) will determine how much power officials in a government department should have when it comes to interpreting ambiguous rules and regulations. As it currently stand s, if a company or individual challenges an H1-B denial, the courts sometimes defer to USCIS’s own reading of its regulations. However, if the Supreme Court overturns current law, then the agency may have to prove its interpretation of its own regulations in court.

Our decades of experience in immigration law show us how much the USCIS is now shifting its prior internal interpretations of its own ambiguous guidelines. If the Supreme Court overturns current law, then USCIS will be required to more clearly define its own internal regulations and do so in a way that would hold up should these regulations be challenged in court. The courts would not automatically assume that USCIS’s own interpretation is necessarily accurate to the spirit of the law.

While this could make cases more complex, it means that individuals might have more power during the appeals process.

We certainly applaud the potential for change. It will provide much needed judicial oversight of these agencies by forcing them to defend their positions in court if a case is brought before a judge. Another example where the Supreme Court case could help immigrants is that it would give lawyers an avenue to fight the current “public charge” rule that has been proposed. Under the public charge rule, if it is passed, individuals could be denied a visa if an immigration officer believes they are at risk of using public resources.

Kuck Baxter Immigration are H1-B and immigration visa lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia who are closely watching how the Supreme Court will decide on Kisor v. Wilkie. If you are in the process of applying for an H1-B or are considering applying for a family-based green card or a work visa, it is important to get your application right the first time. Speak to Kuck Baxter Immigration today to learn more about your rights and options. Getting your application right the first time is important to avoid having to go through the appeals process. However, if you do need to make an appeal, Kuck Baxter Immigration are here for you and your family. Contact us for more information.

Charles Kuck

Managing Partner