The numbers are in! The National Foundation for American Policy reports that the Denial rate for new H-1B petitions for the first two quarters of 2021 is 7.1%. This is down from 28.6% for the first two quarters of 2020.
However, this does NOT mean we can relax. USCIS approval trends are still far stricter than they have been in the recent past, and just because they have loosened doesn’t mean it will be easy to get outright visa approval. Part of the reason is also likely due to the change in the lottery process. At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, we suspect that part of the reason for the decline in rate of Denials is because H-1B applicants have gotten better at writing airtight petitions in anticipation of common issues that arise during adjudication.
Computer programmers, professionals making level one wages, and other H-1B beneficiaries whose jobs do not ALWAYS require a US bachelor’s degree or higher still have to go the extra mile to prevent RFEs and Denials. Additional evidence and an expert opinion letter are needed.
Beneficiaries with education earned outside of the US, 3-year bachelor’s degrees, incomplete college, no college, or the right degree in the wrong major still need to fortify proof of educational eligibility. They need to include a detailed credential evaluation that fills in the gaps between the education the H-1B beneficiary has and the educational equivalency USCIS needs to see to approve their visa. This credential evaluation must take any education and work experience into account, as well as the job, the visa, and USCIS approval trends.
Beneficiaries working as consultants must provide a complete itinerary of the work to be performed for the duration of the H-1B visa period or face employer-employee relationship issues. Employees working at third-party worksites will also face these issues if additional documentation as to how the employer will be able to control the work of the H-1B employee offsite is not included in the initial petition.
Great work to all of you out there who have not let USCIS off the hook! Every RFE or Denial successfully answered helped. Every lawsuit challenging illegal Denials helped. Every petition filed in anticipation of USCIS unlawful approval trends helped. We didn’t give up, and we are seeing results!
For a free review of your case, visit www.ccifree.com. We will respond in 4 hours or less.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.