According to the National Foundation for American Policy, USCIS has denied petitions for H-1B work visas under the Trump administration at a rate four times than that under the Obama administration. Congress has made no changes in the H-1B statutes in that time frame.
Between Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2019, denial rates for H-1B “new employee” petitions went from 6% to 24%. Denial rates in that same time period for “continuing employment” H-1B petitions went from 3% to 12%. Finally, there has been an increase in Requests for Evidence (RFEs) from USCIS. RFEs ask for additional evidence that proves that the potential employee qualifies for H-1B status. They are often time-consuming and labor-heavy.
The increase in RFEs is significant for two reasons. The first is that the instance of RFEs went from 20% to 60% in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019. The second is that RFEs rack up to another $4,500 in legal fees.
The increase in denials, extra paperwork, and legal fees may motivate large employers to relocate outside the United States where they can find skilled labor. It doe snot increase the likelihood that these employers will hire U.S. citizens.
What does this Mean for Me?
It is more difficult than ever, although not impossible, to get an H-1B visa. The advice and skill of an experienced U.S. immigration attorney is vital. Contact our U.S. immigration attorney here for help.