H-1B Approval Rate And Its Industry Impacts
Studies show that businesses in the United States realize significant benefits when they hire foreign workers through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ H-1B visa program. Employers report an increase in productivity and innovation when highly skilled foreign workers fill specialized positions in their companies.
Unfortunately, studies have also shown that businesses have been struggling with the H-1B approval rate recently due to a sharp increase in H-1B application denials over the past several years. While these reports are discouraging, they also highlight the importance of securing the services of an experienced immigration attorney when applying for an H-1B visa.
Immigration attorney Poonam Bhuchar, Esq. focuses her practice mainly on immigration law and regularly helps U.S. businesses and foreign workers with the visa application process. We know that the increase in application denials is disappointing, but your chances for success improve when you have an attorney handling the H-1B application process.
Changes In H-1B Approval Rates
The H-1B approval rate has continued to shrink over the past several years, from 95.7% approval in 2015 to approximately 84% approval in 2019. Although the approval rate has decreased recently, some argue that the roughly 11% decrease is the result of an increase in the number of visa applications submitted each year and the congressional cap limiting the number of visa approvals to 65,000. Others argue that the decreasing approval rate is due to a government crackdown on H-1B applications.
Regardless of the reason for the decrease in the H-1B approval rate, most of us can agree that applications are more heavily scrutinized, and the competition for approval is steeper today than in the past. As a result, securing an H-1B approval is more difficult today than it was even a few years ago, which has led to significant impacts on the U.S. economy and higher education institutions.
How the Slumping H-1B Approval Rates Impact The United States
- Fewer foreign students attend U.S. colleges because they are discouraged by the increase in H-1B denials. Students who believe that they are more likely to get jobs in other countries after college often go to those countries for their education as well.
- More jobs remain unfilled, especially in the technology industry, and unfortunately, this means that United States companies are suffering because their needs are not being met. Companies cannot grow and advance when they are limited to employee candidates who lack the necessary skills for their open positions.
- More foreign workers are looking for work in Canada, specifically. As the United States has denied more H-1B applications, many foreign workers have turned to its neighbor, Canada, for education and employment, leaving an employment void for U.S. businesses.
How H-1B Denials Impact Foreigners Looking To Live And Work In The U.S.
- Immigrants sometimes turn to different legal paths to live in the United States. For example, the EB-5 investor agreement program provides visas to immigrants who are willing to invest large sums of money in commercial enterprises that will create full-time jobs and benefit the U.S. economy. These visas are limited, however, to those who have the means to invest at least $1,000,000 or in some cases, $500,000 for specific employment areas.
- More appeals are being filed for denied H-1B applications. Potential visa candidates are spending more time and resources securing visa approvals as they appeal to their initial denials. Some foreign workers are successful on appeal, but many are not, especially when they do not have highly skilled immigration attorneys representing their interests.
- In addition to more appeals, more requests for evidence (‘RFE’) are being issued by the USCIS in response to visa applications. RFEs require applicants to submit additional documentation and evidence for review before deciding whether or not to approve their H-1B applications.
How An Attorney Can Help When H-1B Approval Rates Are Decreasing
Because the competition is steep, more applications are being denied, and more RFEs are being issued, it is important to have an attorney to help improve your chances of securing an H-1B visa. You should feel much more confident about your chances for success when you have a legal advocate representing your interests.
If you are applying for a first-time H-1B visa, an H-1B renewal, an appeal, or you have been issued an RFE, Bhuchar Law Firm can help. We understand that you may feel as though the odds are stacked against you, but with our experience, knowledge, and high-quality legal representation, we will fight for a successful outcome in your case.