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Guest worker visas are being denied at record rates

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Denial rates for high-skilled worker visas have quadrupled since 2015, a trend that makes it much harder for companies that rely on these workers to find and retain talent.

According to data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, denial rates for first-time H-1B visa applicants increased from 6% to 24% between fiscal years 2015 and 2018. And the trend is growing.

Through the first half of fiscal year 2019, USCIS denied 33% of initial H-1B visa applications, data shows.

 

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2019/08/20/guest-worker-visas-denied-record-rates/39984601/


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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Posted (edited)

First, the article's title is wrong. It talks of visa denials, but only refers to USCIS denial rates for petitions. It's sloppy at best to not at least point out the difference to readers.

 

As the article noted, previously petitions were mostly rubber-stamped by USCIS so long as basic requirements were made, and COs were left with making decisions that really aren't their job to make (if the position matched and met the petitioning requirements). Most were not very quick to overrule that, and those that were  sent back, often were reaffirmed. Now, USICS is scrutinizing the petitions more closely, hence the increased denial rate.

 

Quote

“The H-1B program is rife with abuse and exploitation, but prior administrations — both GOP and Democratic — essentially rubber-stamped petitions,” he said. “I’m sure employers don’t like the increased scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean the government is doing anything wrong.”

- Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University who has been looking at the H-1B visa program for years

 

H-1B visas are bound by quotas (barring some exceptions that are unlikely to be heavily impacted by the extra scrutiny) and there are far, far more applicants than the quota, so the same number of visas are ultimately being issued in the end. They're just being issued to different individuals.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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26 minutes ago, geowrian said:

First, the article's title is wrong. It talks of visa denials, but only refers to USCIS denial rates for petitions. It's sloppy at best to not at least point out the difference to readers.

 

As the article noted, previously petitions were mostly rubber-stamped by USCIS so long as basic requirements were made, and COs were left with making decisions that really aren't their job to make (if the position matched and met the petitioning requirements). Most were not very quick to overrule that, and those that were  sent back, often were reaffirmed. Now, USICS is scrutinizing the petitions more closely, hence the increased denial rate.

 

 

H-1B visas are bound by quotas (barring some exceptions that are unlikely to be heavily impacted by the extra scrutiny) and there are far, far more applicants than the quota, so the same number of visas are ultimately being issued in the end. They're just being issued to different individuals.

I agree on all points, particularly the state of journalism today. :)

 

I also agree, there are 85000 H1Bs being issued every year, so no real change there.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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