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Data from USCIS shows declining approvals and higher rates of requests for evidence (RFEs) for several key employer-sponsored nonimmigrant categories

  1. Original Date Announced

    January 2, 2019

    New data from USCIS shows the following: 1. Between FY 2015 and FY 2018, the rate of approvals fell and the rate of requests for evidence rose for H-1B, L-1, TN and O petitions filed at USCIS Service Centers. 2. H-1B employers in the IT consulting industry saw higher than average denial rates, consistent with increasingly stringent policies at USCIS. 3. Though the rate of RFEs and denials has been increasing for several immigration categories since the Obama Administration, there was a significant uptick in the wake of the Trump Administration’s Buy American, Hire American executive order. [ID #545]

    USCIS Non-Immigrant Worker RFE Data
  2. Effective Date

    January 2, 2019
  4. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    September 30, 2021

    USCIS Non-Immigrant Worker RFE Data through FY21

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    Data released by USCIS indicates that denial rates for H-1B petitions dropped in FY 2021, far lower than the denial rates in FY 2018, FY 2019 and in FY 2020. The data also reveals that denials decreased for O and L visa petitions, though overall the percentage of approvals remains lower than when President Trump first took office. For TN visas petitions, approvals were lower in FY21 than in FY20.

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Current Status

Not in effect
September 30, 2021
Acted on by Other

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Data and Reports
Agencies Affected: USCIS


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  • National Foundation American Policy Brief

    The National Foundation for American Policy conducted an analysis of USCIS data and found that denial rates for new H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2021 dropped to 4%, far lower than the denial rate of 24% in FY 2018, 21% in FY 2019 and 13% in FY 2020.

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  • Tech firms cheer smoother visa sailing

    Axios reports that the H-1B denial rate for FY 2021 dropped to an all-time low, marking a shift from the high denial rates seen during the Trump administration.

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  • IT Consulting Firms Trying to Force Litigation of H-1B Denials

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