According to a recent article in the National Law Review, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released data for the first three quarters of FY 2019. This data shows that requests for evidence (RFEs) and denials have continued to increase for the most commonly used nonimmigrant visas. As compared to the data from FY 2015, these increases are reflective of the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.
For example, the RFE rate for H-1B visa petitions in FY 2015 was 22.3 percent, and the overall denial rate was 4.3 percent. In contrast, FY 2019 figures show an RFE rate of 39.6 percent and a total denial rate 16.1 percent. The rate of H-1B approval following RFE has fallen from 83.2 percent in FY 2015 to 62.7 percent in FY 2019. Since FY 2015, then, the RFE rate has nearly doubled, the initial denial rate has almost quadrupled, and the approval rate following RFE has dropped by more than 20 percent.
A similar pattern emerges concerning other common nonimmigrant visas, such as the L-1 visa. The initial denial rate for these visas increased by 32 percent between FY 2018 and 2019 alone. Furthermore, the RFE rate increased by 56 percent between FY 2015 and FY 2019.
The USCIS data also shows increases in RFE and initial denial rates for O-1 and TN visas. However, the increase in rates is not as drastic as those in rates for H-1B and L-1 visa petitions.
To minimize the risks of RFEs and denials, employers should take care to provide USCIS with comprehensive job descriptions for the positions that they intend to fill. They also should provide documentation that details the qualifications of the employees that they intend to sponsor. An experienced Texas immigration attorney can help you with all aspects of immigration law. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and present your options. Finally, we can help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you, based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.