United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT 
Stephen J. Murphy, III United States District Judge.
4, 2018, Plaintiff Altimetrik Corp. ("Altimetrik")
filed a complaint and alleged that Defendant United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS")
arbitrarily and capriciously denied its petition for an H-1B
visa on behalf of its employee, Aravind Kumar Ravindran. ECF
1. On October 29, 2018, Altimetrik filed a motion for summary
judgment. The Court reviewed the briefs and finds that a
hearing is unnecessary. See. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f).
For the reasons below, the Court will deny the motion.
is a "worldwide" "software and engineering
development company." ECF 1, PgID 1. In December 2017,
Altimetrik filed a petition for an H-1B visa on behalf of
Ravindran. Id. at 2. Altimetrik then hired
Ravindran, and Ravindran began working as a full-time
employee for Altimetrik in its Princeton, New Jersey office.
Id.; ECF 10-1, PgID 88. In January 2017, USCIS
requested additional evidence from Altimetrik to support its
petition for Ravindran's H-1B visa. ECF 1, PgID 2. In
February 2017, Altimetrik provided additional evidence, and
in March 2017, USCIS denied the petition. Id. at
2-3. USCIS held that Altimetrik failed to meet its
"burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence,
eligibility for the benefit sought." ECF 10-1, PgID 71
(USCIS decision denying Altimetrik's petition).
found that the provided evidence demonstrated only one
project to which Altimetrik had assigned Ravindran, and that
the project had already expired. See Id. at 70.
USCIS acknowledged that Altimetrik provided a statement of
work for an additional project that would last until
September 1, 2018-a date that had not yet passed.
Id. But USCIS noted that Altimetrik provided no
evidence that Ravindran was assigned to the second project,
and emphasized that the second project's statement of
work listed only two roles to be filled by Altimetrik's
Princeton office- neither of which matched Altimetrik's
title for or description of Ravindran's role.
Id. USCIS explained that it was "unable to
conclude that" Altimetrik met its burden because
"of the inconsistencies in the record."
Id. at 71.
district court must "hold unlawful and set aside agency
actions, findings, and conclusions found to be-(A) arbitrary,
capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in
accordance with law," 5 U.S.C. § 706(2). The scope
of review under § 706(2)(A) is narrow. See Bowman
Transp., Inc. v. Arkansas-Best Freight Sys., Inc., 419
U.S. 281, 285 (1974). "A reviewing court must consider
whether the decision was based on a consideration of the
relevant factors and whether there has been a clear error of
judgment." Id. (internal quotations and
citation omitted). A reviewing court should set aside an
agency decision that relies on factors other than those
Congress intended the agency to consider, "entirely
fail[s] to consider an important aspect of the problem,"
provides an explanation that is contradicted by the evidence,
"or is so implausible that it could not be ascribed to a
difference in view or the product of agency expertise."
Simms v. Nat'l Highway Traffic Safety Admin., 45
F.3d 999, 1004 (6th Cir. 1995) (quoting Motor Vehicle
Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983)).
reviews an agency's factual determinations "[u]nder
the substantial evidence standard," determining only
"whether those determinations are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole."
Steeltech, Ltd. v. United States Envtl. Prot.
Agency, 273 F.3d 652, 657 (6th Cir. 2001). A
determination that "there was substantial evidence in
the record for a result other than that arrived at by the
[agency]" is insufficient. Id.
visa allows "an alien" to come "temporarily to
the United States to perform services . . . in a specialty
occupation." 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b). A
"specialty occupation" is "an occupation that
requires-(A) theoretical and practical application of a body
of highly specialized knowledge, and (B) attainment of a
bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or
its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in
the United States." 8 U.S.C. § 1184(i)(1). A
position must satisfy one of four criteria to qualify as a
specialty occupation: (1) the normal, minimum, entry-level
requirement for the position is a bachelor's degree or
higher, (2) the analogous positions at similar organizations
across the industry require a bachelor's degree or
higher, (3) the specific employer "normally requires a
degree or its equivalent for the position," or (4) the
duties to be performed "are so specialized and complex
that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually
associated with" needing a bachelor's degree or
higher. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A).
determine whether a position qualifies as a specialty
occupation, "USCIS does not take the title of the
position provided by the petitioning employer at face
value." Altimetrik Corp. v. Cissna, No.
18-10116, 2018 WL 6604258, at *4 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 17, 2018)
(citing Fast Gear Distrib., Inc. v. Rodriguez, 116
F.Supp.3d 839, 846 (E.D. Mich. 2015)). Rather, USCIS
"considers the job duties of the offered position along
with the petitioning employer's business operations to
make a determination if the position actually requires skills
of someone with a bachelor's degree." Fast
Gear, 116 F.Supp.3d at 846. But here, USCIS found that
Altimetrik failed to provide sufficient evidence to carry its
burden of demonstrating, by a preponderance of the evidence,
that Ravindran was offered a position with duties that
required the skills of someone with a bachelor's degree.
See ECF 10-1, PgID 71. The decision was not
arbitrary or capricious, or an abuse of USCIS's
explained the evidence that Altimetrik provided and why that
evidence was internally inconsistent and insufficient.
Id. at 68-71. USCIS noted that Altimetrik submitted
evidence that Ravindran was assigned to only one project-the
"MBFS Playground Pilot project"-and that
Altimetrik's evidence indicated that the "project
ended on January 31, 2018." Id. at 69. USCIS
further expressed concern that the statement of work that
Altimetrik submitted for a second project included only two
positions to be filled by Altimetrik's Princeton office,
neither of which matched Ravindran's title or position
description, and that Altimetrik did not provide any evidence
that Ravindran was assigned to the second project.
Id. at 70. Because Altimetrik's description of
Ravindran's job duties did not align with any provided
statement of work for an actual project Ravindran would be
working on, USCIS reasonably concluded that the evidence was
internally inconsistent. Id. As USCIS stated,
Altimetrik provided insufficient evidence to establish by a
preponderance of the evidence that Ravindran was hired to
perform actual duties requiring the skills of someone with a
bachelor's degree or higher. See id.
objection to USCIS's decision centers on its assertion
that the decision "claims that it does not use a title
to determine specialty occupation and that it must evaluate
the duties to be performed, but . . . fails to make any
discussion or analysis of the job duties" and
"arbitrarily and capriciously ignores the job
description provide by Altimetrik." ECF 11, PgID 302.
But Altimetrik's objection to the decision misunderstands
the decision. USCIS did not "ignore"
Altimetrik's description of Ravindran's job.
USCIS's decision looked at all of the evidence that
Altimetrik provided regarding Ravindran's position and
explained that Altimetrik did not provide any evidence of an
unexpired project for which Ravindran would perform the
duties that Altimetrik listed as his job duties. See
ECF 10-1, PgID 69-71.
titled Ravindran's position "Technical Lead"
and provided a description of his job duties. Id. at
91-92. But Altimetrik provided evidence that Ravindran was
assigned to only one project-a project that its evidence also
indicated expired prior to the USCIS decision. See
Id. at 191 (affidavit from Altimetrik's "HR
Generalist" Lydia Keci, listing the project Ravindran is
assigned to as "MBFS Playground Pilot");
Id. at 118 (statement of work between MBFS and
Altimetrik noting that "[a]ny continued use of the
virtual Playground beyond the end of January 2018 will be
separately contracted."). And although Altimetrik
provided a statement of work for a second project with MBFS,
it provided no evidence that Ravindran was assigned to the
second project. The statement of work for the second project
does not include a position to be filled through
Altimetrik's Princeton office that matches
Altimetrik's own description of Ravindran's job.
Compare Id. at 270 (statement of work for
Altimetrik's second project with MBFS, providing that
Altimetrik's Princeton office will supply only a
"Senior developer" and an "Overall
Governance" employee, and including a brief description
of each position) with Id. at 91-92 (listing