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New Data Shows USCIS Is Increasing Denial Rates for H-1B Visas


With the Trump administration cracking down on the way H-1B visas are handled, there has been a substantial increase in legitimate applications being denied, delayed, and rejected. Lawyers from across the country say this crackdown is breaking laws and snarling applicants in red tape.

According to a report from Reuters, the Trump administration is delaying and denying more H-1B visa applications than at any time since 2015. The delays are the result of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) demanding applicants provide more information in order to confirm their applications are legitimate.

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analyzed USCIS data in the H-1B Employer Data Hub and found the following:

“Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 32% in the first quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment. Between FY 2015 and FY 2018 the denial rate for new H-1B petitions quadrupled from 6% to 24%. To put this in perspective, between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the denial rate for initial H-1B petitions never exceeded 8%, while today the rate is 3 or 4 times higher.”

After Donald Trump introduced the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, which upended years of established practice and rescinded long-standing policies on what occupations qualify for H-1B visas, USCIS and its adjudicators raised the standard of proof for approving an H-1B petition.

Immigration attorneys say that the increased denials and requests for additional evidence to validate applications violate laws and regulations that govern the visa program. According to one lawyer who spoke to Forbes:

“One thing that is clear to me is that the data backs up what employers have been saying for the last two years: USCIS has raised the legal standard they use to decide whether enough evidence has been presented with petitions to approve them, without any legal authority to do so and without any notice to the public.

The rise in the denial rate for continuing employment, where existing H-1B workers whose petitions have been approved before, show that adjudicators are applying a new standard to people whose petitions have already been approved before.”

Has Your H-1B Visa Application Been Denied?

At the Verma Law Firm, we are committed to helping clients throughout San Jose resolve all of their immigration matters. If you have an H-1B petition that has been delayed or denied, you should get in touch with our experienced lawyers to find out how we can assist you. Our mission is to help you achieve your American dream, so let us fight for you today.

Call (408) 560-4622 to set up your consultation with our San Jose immigration attorneys.

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