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US Court of Appeals Says Courts Have No Power to Review USCIS Decisions

An appeal by iTech has been dismissed as courts deny hearing matters decided under the federal immigration law.

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South Asians
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The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on 20 July rejected a visa petition filed on behalf of Indian citizen Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, which stated that courts do not have the power to review a decision made by the USCIS revoking approval of immigrant visas.

The judgment came in an appeal filed by iTech, a technology staffing firm challenging the USCIS' decision to revoke a 2015 I-140 immigrant visa and rejection of their review request in 2018.

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The agency in 2017 found that its initial approval of Reddy's immigrant worker visa was an error, and that iTech had misrepresented his degree-conferring institution and employment qualifications, and did not demonstrate its ability to pay the proffered wage, according to court papers, Law360 reported.

In July 2020, iTech went to the federal court which dismissed the plea due to lack of jurisdiction. The court ruled that Illegal Immigration reform and Immigrant responsibility Act shields visa revocation decisions from judicial reviews. This was upheld by the Court of Appeals on 20 July 2021.

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Although iTech argued that revoking of an approved I-140 is not a denial of relief because it pertains to the meeting of preliminary requirements for obtaining the visa and hence the court should take cognisance of the issue. However, the USCIS claimed that irrespective of whether relief is denied, the law shields decisions by the agency from judicial review.

The court noted that nine appellate courts have in previous cases held "that courts lack jurisdiction to consider visa revocations made under federal immigration law," Law360 reported.

(With inputs from Law360)

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