H-1B For Market Research Analysts: Settlement Agreement Outlines New Guidance

A settlement agreement reached between USCIS and plaintiffs in a class action suit outlines new guidance for adjudicating H-1B petitions for market research analysts. The settlement agreement was granted final approval on October 19, 2021.

As per the terms of the settlement agreement, USCIS has agreed to issue guidance to all H-1B adjudicators stating that the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) description for market research analysts demonstrates that a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific specialty is normally required to enter the occupation. However, where a petitioner will accept an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in a field of study unrelated to the position as sufficient for the position, then the position would not meet the definition of specialty occupation and may be denied. Where the petitioner will accept a degree other than market research, communications, statistics, computer and information technology, business administration, and/or social science, the position will not, without more evidence, satisfy the OOH entry for market research analyst and may be denied on that basis.

The agreement also allows certain H-1B petitioners to submit a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, to request that certain I-129 petitions filed seeking H-1B classification for a market research analyst that were denied, be reopened and adjudicated per the terms of the settlement agreement.

To be eligible to submit the Form I-290B, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • The H-1B petition for a market research analyst must have been filed between January 1, 2019 and October 19, 2021
  • USCIS must have denied the petition based on a finding that the OOH entry for a market research analyst did not establish that the occupation is a specialty occupation
  • If not for this finding, the petition would have been approved, and
  • At the time of filing of the Form I-290B, there is some amount of time remaining on the period specified in the certified Labor Condition Application submitted with the H-1B petition.

Qualifying H-1B petitioners have until April 26, 2022 to submit a Form I-290B, and no fee will be charged for this request. All Forms I-290B must be submitted to the Nebraska Service Center, at the following address:

  • USPS – USCIS Nebraska Service Center, Attn: Madkudu Project, P.O. Box 87129, Lincoln, NE 68701
  • FedEx, UPS, and DHL Deliveries – USCIS Nebraska Service Center, Attn: Madkudu Project, 850 ‘S’ Street, Lincoln, NE 68508

USCIS will make a decision on timely-filed I-290B reopening requests within 90 days of receipt of the physical file at the adjudicating office.

If you have any questions regarding H-1Bs for market research analysts, or need help filing a Form I-290B to request reopening of an H-1B for market research analyst denied as above, contact VisaPro Law Firm today. Our experienced immigration attorneys will be happy to assist you.

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