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Employers cope with surging H-1B visa denial rates

| Oct 8, 2020 | Firm News

Employers in Kentucky and around the country are finding it increasingly difficult to hire qualified foreign workers according to H-1B visa data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. These are the visas that companies apply for when they have been unable to recruit workers with specialized skills locally. The H-1B denial rate hovered around 6% during the Obama administration, but that figure has since more than quadrupled to 29%.

Denial rates surge in 2020

When researchers from the National Foundation for American Policy scrutinized the USCIS data, they discovered that larger companies are finding it especially difficult to obtain H-1B visas. They noticed that all of the 25 largest companies have seen their denial rates increase. When only applications for initial employment were studied, 20 of the 25 companies experienced denial rates that were at least 10% higher.

Tech companies the hardest hit

Temporary work visas are commonly associated with large employers in the information technology sector, so the researchers may have been unsurprised to learn that these companies have been hit particularly hard by the surge in H-1B denials. The 10 largest IT companies are seeing applications for initial H-1B visas being denied at rates that are 20% higher than they were in 2015, which has led many experts to conclude that USCIS is applying different standards for technology workers.

Dealing with immigration red tape

Dealing with complex immigration paperwork and strict time limits can be extremely frustrating for companies in desperate need of qualified workers. Attorneys with immigration law experience could answer questions about fiancé and work visas and help to ensure that application paperwork is completed correctly, supported by relevant documents and submitted within the time allowed. Attorneys could also file appeals or motions to reconsider when visa applications are denied.