Int'l Internship Program v. Napolitano, et al., No. 12-5168 (D.C. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff challenged the district court's holding affirming the USCIS's denial of several of plaintiff's petitions for Q-1 visas for foreign applicants to its cultural exchange program. USCIS denied the petitions because it interpreted its regulation to require sponsors of a cultural exchange program to pay wages to the participating aliens and plaintiff admittedly did not pay its participants any wages. Given 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(Q)'s specific references to "employed," "wages," and "workers," the court agreed with USCIS that the statute was best read to require that the foreign citizens receive wages and that those wages be equivalent to the wages of domestic workers. Given 8 C.F.R. 214.2(q)(4)(i)(D)'s references to "employer," "wages," "workers," and "remunerate," the court agreed with USCIS that the regulation was best read to require that foreign citizens receive wages and that those wages be comparable to those of local workers. Finally, when USCIS denied plaintiff's petitions in 2010, the agency did not trigger the notice-and-comment procedures in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604, 605(b), or the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 533(b)-(c), because the denials were not rules under either act; rather, they were informal adjudications. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.