H1b Denial Rate Reaches Highest In Over Ten Years


The H1b visa has been a solid source for work visas for many years. Many clients graduate from school, work on OPT and then move into the H1b process. For graduates with STEM OPT they have more chances at the lottery – giving them a large advantage for getting selected for the lottery with an employer of their choosing.

Sadly, the lottery is only the first burden foreign nationals face. After being selected comes a process that can be arduous. The H1b filing normally only contains the basic information covering job duties, employer location, salary and documents that demonstrate each part of the case is true. Aside from this basic information the additional documentation is very difficult to ascertain as each case is different and may require additional documentation.

The recent trend by USCIS is to challenge the salary listed in the LCA and to challenge the employer’s ability to pay the wage. This last aspect of the case is not a specific requirement under the law, but is implied as part of the LCA and the statutory requirement to pay a wage that meets specific requirements.

Nevertheless, these most recent numbers are staggering in comparison to the past decade. As someone who has filed H1bs for fifteen years I have seen trends change and specific types of cases become more difficult (i.e. programmers, MBA graduates), but to see overall denials reach 30% shows a marked change in policy and leads one to infer that political influence is a part of this recent trend towards increased denials.

Stay strong out there, give us a call if you want an honest opinion about your case.