Current H-1B Denial Rates Concerning

By Andrew M. Wilson

May 20, 2019 | Immigration Blog

While there have not been any changes with applicable H-1B statutes and regulations, H-1B denials are propagating at plague level. USCIS is reinterpreting laws, placing qualifiers on established requirements and conceiving elevated standards of review. The result is a systemic assailing that feels like the H-1B specialty occupation may find its way onto the endangered species list.

Consider that H-1B denial rates for new H-1B filings have risen from 6% in FY 2015 to 32% in the 1st QTR of FY 2019. This was after a rise from 6% in FY 2015 to 24% in FY 2018.

H-1B extensions with the same employer and for the same position have also taken a hit. Interestingly, these filings for the same position and same employer as the previous H-1B approval also saw a denial rate that quadrupled from FY 2015 (3%) to FY 2018 (12%).

Although USCIS asserts that they are not adjudicating H-1B cases differently, the spread of denials is palpable. The fact that H-1B denial rates from FY 2015 to FY 2018 for "new" and "continuing" H-1Bs both quadrupled is also curious.

The challenge continues to make sure established laws, regulations and policies are followed. Unilaterally and tacitly changing the rules is not a viable system.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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