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Denial Rates for H-1B Visas Are Climbing September 12, 2018

Financial District, Manhattan
Denial Rates for H-1B Visas Are Climbing, Manhattan, New York

The H1-B visa program allows highly educated foreign-born professionals with special skills to obtain work authorization in the United States, giving American companies access to expertise from around the world. However, the Trump administration’s adjustments to immigration law have increased both the rate of rejection and Requests for Evidence (RFEs), which cause costly delays. These policies are making it increasingly difficult for foreign-born scientists and engineers to obtain a visa and American companies to find the talent they need.

Rates of Rejection for H1-B Visas

immigration lawIn the fourth quarter of FY 2017, immigration law officials denied 22.4% of applicants, up from 15.9% the quarter before. These trends are expected to continue, as both employers and immigration law attorneys report higher instances of both rejected applications and RFE issuance for H1-B visas.

Increases in RFE Rates

The administration’s actions to curtail legal immigration have resulted in dramatically higher instances of applicants being issued an RFE, resulting in millions of dollars in losses to employers. In the fourth quarter of FY 2017, immigration law adjudicators sent over 63,000 RFEs, nearly as many as the three previous quarters combined. Failure to comply promptly with these requests for documentation almost always results in a denial of the worker’s petition.

Successfully Obtaining an H1-B Visa

As rejection rates climb and complications become even more common, even highly qualified foreign-born scientists and engineers can expect difficulties obtaining H1-B visa authorization. Hiring a skilled immigration attorney to prepare your application and guide you through the process is even more important than ever, as the administration may use any inconsistencies or deficiencies as grounds to deny an application.


If you’re applying for work authorization in the US, the New York immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC have the expertise and up-to-date knowledge to help maximize your chances of success. With their in-depth understanding of immigration law, Alex Berd and Patrick Klauss have helped clients from around the world navigate the complexities of the process. Visit their website or call (212) 461-7152 to schedule a consultation today, and follow their Facebook for updates and news.