Denial Rate for H-1B Visas for Continuing Employment Also Going Down

The denial rate for H-1B petitions for continuing employment has dipped in fiscal year 2021 (so far), suggesting that the Trump administration’s visa policies might not have a long-term impact.

For the first two quarters of FY 2021, the denial rate for continuing employment was 3 percent, down from 7 percent in FY 2020 (and 12 percent in FY 2018 and FY 2019). That’s according to a new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), which drew its data from the USCIS H-1B Employer Data Hub. If the current trend continues, the denial rate may remain at pre-Trump levels: 

“A significant reason for the increase in denials for continuing employment is that in October 2017, the new USCIS director issued a memo on ‘Rescission of Guidance Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in the Adjudication of Petitions for Extension of Nonimmigrant Status.’ The memo has likely been responsible for many of the denials in continuing employment cases, according to attorneys,” read the note accompanying NFAP’s data. “In April 2021, the Biden administration rescinded the October 2017 memo.”

The denial rate for initial H-1B petitions also declined in the first two quarters of fiscal year 2021; according to NFAP, that decline is largely due to federal judges ruling against Trump-era H-1B policies such as stricter definitions of specialty occupations. 

But will the denial rate for both initial and continuing H-1B petitions stay at these low levels for the long term? It might all depend on the Biden administration’s immigration actions. Biden’s first regulatory agenda, published this summer, hints at the administration’s intention to “modernize” H-1B requirements, although details remain vague; there are hints at updated guidelines that would revamp the “employer-employee relationship.”

5 Responses to “Denial Rate for H-1B Visas for Continuing Employment Also Going Down”

  1. Trump used to be blamed for immigration policies or covid spread. Now he cannot be blamed because he is not the president. Now people see thousands of import on south border, easy h1b, giving blanket visas as refugees, legalizing drugs, increase in covid (reason for covid is not unvaccinated, it could be import of legal and illegals)…etc these all ruining the nation and US Born citizens.
    Looks like there is a new proposal for green cards : pay fee and get it. Not really sure is this to benefit Asians or for the USCIS to generate income.
    For the safety, security and future of the US and US Born citizens, USCIS shouldn’t get depend on immigration fees. Laws changing just benefit Asians or to get fees and forgetting the best interests of the nation.

  2. As I said before, they new immigration bill will give green card to 8 million illegal immigrants, ZERO green cards to LEGAL, high skill immigrants that came here with h1b visa, I think that is very very wrong, this illegals will be citizens in 5 years and our fellow friends in IT will still be renewing there h1b visas.

  3. jake_leone

    The denial rate was never very high, and most of this was because the applicants couldn’t or didn’t provide information to the immigration service that would make sure they weren’t violating the terms of their H-1b employment.

    Biden has returned to (literally) rubber stamping every renewal application. Which means the actual H-1b law simply isn’t being enforced by the Biden administration.

    As a result, we can look forward to massive amounts of continuing corruption in the H-1b program. The kind of corruption that can only be bought for a One hundred million dollar campaign contribution.

  4. As expected, the games continue.
    Go out to the blogs and see the inexperienced/low experience foreign developers discuss having the “NIE” on their H1b requests – that right – junior developers getting their H1b processed as being in the “national interest”.
    It’s garbage.

  5. Obviously!!!. It is 100% logical that denial rates are going down. We have the lowest IT unemployment in history, now hiring more IT people than pre-pandemic, big companies getting the best numbers in productivity and revenue. Yes, it is obvious that denial rates are going down and more H1B people is coming to work.