Following the Trump Administration’s “Buy American and Hire American” policy, USCIS declassified documents show that approval standards for H-1B visas have changed without statutory basis.  This has led to a massive spike in RFEs and Denials for H-1B petitions – both for initial filings, and for H-1B extensions for cases that had previously been approved.

Executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, Stuart Anderson says, “The denial rate for initial employment, primarily for new employees, has increased for nearly all leading companies.”

Although these tightened standards have impacted STEM industries the most, all industries have been impacted.  The National Foundation for American Policy told Forbes in August of 2019, “Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 33% through the second quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment.”

Given these numbers, chances are you or your employee or client received an H-1B RFE or Denial for their FY 2020 petition filed back in April of 2019.  Don’t panic.  An RFE – and even a Denial – is not the end of the road.  While USCIS has been denying petitions at an unprecedented rate, appeals boards have been overturning adjudicators’ decisions to deny at an unprecedented rate as well.  USCIS is wrongly rejecting petitions and issuing RFEs. 

At CCI, we work with difficult H-1B cases every year, and we get excellent results.  That’s because we go back to the basics and identify H-1B eligibility requirements and USCIS approval trends, then see where the case in question is lacking in evidence, documentation, or equivalency evaluation.  If there are education issues, we address them with the right credential evaluation that takes the job, the degree, and progressive work experience into account.  If it’s a specialty occupation or wage level issue, we enlist the help of an expert in the industry with extensive work experience in the field to write an expert opinion letter.  We help our clients identify what documentation and evidence they need to provide in their response to get their desired results, and it works.

If you or your employee or client received an RFE or Denial, we can help.  For a free review of your case, visit  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.

Scroll to Top