Can I sue my past employer for making me lose a job opportunity? Posted on May 02, 2011
I was on an H1B visa in the US and my wife was on an H4. My H1B was renewed by my employer but my wife’s H4 was not as my employer was not aware of the procedure and assumed that hers would be automatically be renewed along with mine. All the fees otherwise for our paperwork, visa, tickets were borne by the employer. Around about 8 months from the renewal date, I got to know that my wife’s H4 was also to be renewed. I approached my employer who then filed for the renewal through his attorneys. But the application was denied. A second application to renew was made but this was also denied. The immigration department itself took about 4-5 months each time in replying as a result of which my wife’s overstay exceeded a year. Finally we decided to leave the US as I was informed thru friends that it would be difficult for my wife to be issued a visa now. While leaving the US, we were detained at immigration. Technically my wife was arrested. However, the immigration officers heard us out as we explained to them that we had no hidden reason to not renew my wife’s visa and that it was only out of ignorance. I had a letter from my employer stating that he was responsible for not renewing my wife’s H4, which I presented to the officers. They then granted my wife a Voluntary Departure and we left the US about 2 weeks later as we had travel plans within the US before leaving. This was in 2007. Now in 2011 I have been offered a job again in the US and I sent all our papers to the new employer who forwarded the same to their attorneys for the H1 B application. However, their attorneys inform me that my wife cannot be issued a US Visa for 10 years. I have therefore lost out on this opportunity. I am very upset at being punished for my past employers mistake. I want to know if I can sue my past employer for damages, as he was responsible for all the mess we went through.
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