Bloomberg Law
Feb. 5, 2019, 5:04 PMUpdated: Feb. 5, 2019, 7:46 PM

Immigrant, Employer Get H-1B Visa Approval After Suing (1)

Laura D. Francis
Laura D. Francis

An immigrant who was denied an H-1B visa extension while waiting for his preapproved green card to become available has had that denial reversed a week after filing a lawsuit.

Ajay Kuchikulla, an Oracle database administrator for Dublin, Ohio-based ERP Analysts Inc., had his H-1B skilled guestworker visa retroactively extended by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Feb. 4, Virginia-based immigration attorney Jonathan Wasden told Bloomberg Law. The agency admitted that it made a mistake, he said.

Wasden, who represents Kuchikulla’s employer, filed the lawsuit in federal district court Jan. 28 after Kuchikulla was denied what likely would have been the last extension of his H-1B visa before becoming a permanent resident. Kuchikulla was approved for his green card in 2012 but has had to wait for one to become available.

The USCIS doesn’t comment on pending litigation or individual cases, an agency spokesman told Bloomberg Law Feb. 5.

Approvals After Lawsuits

The USCIS reversal is in line with what many businesses are seeing when they take the agency to court over visa decisions, particularly under the H-1B program. Court rulings so far have been rare, but the USCIS in most cases has avoided litigation by sending an approval after a lawsuit is filed.

That also means that courts aren’t getting the opportunity to weigh in on whether the rationale behind the visa decisions is in line with the Immigration and Nationality Act and USCIS regulations.

The complaint in Kuchikulla’s case argued that a policy requiring extra evidence from information technology consulting companies—which was used to justify his H-1B denial—illegally puts added burdens on those companies that aren’t justified by the law.

Two other lawsuits directly challenging the policy, also filed by Wasden, are pending in federal district court.

The case is ERP Analysts Inc. v. Cissna, D.D.C., No. 1:19-cv-00193, visa approved 2/4/19.

(Story updated to include comment from the USCIS.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at; Terence Hyland at