USCIS Denying H-1B Petitions at Historically High Rates

According to a new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy based on data from the USCIS H-1B Employer Data Hub, between FY 2015 and FY 2019, the denial rate for new H-1B petitions for initial employment quadrupled, from 6% to 24%.  From FY 2010 to FY 2015, the denial rate for new H-1B petitions was never higher than 8%.  There has been a similar increase in the denial rate for H-1B petitions for continuing employment, which was never higher than 3% from FY 2011 through FY 2015, but was 12% for both FY 2018 and through the third quarter of FY 2019. 

Similarly, USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) in 60% of completed cases in the first quarter of FY 2019, compared to an RFE rate of approximately 20% historically.

The top reasons USCIS cites for RFEs and denials are that the petitioner did not establish the position as a specialty occupation; the petitioner did not establish a valid employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary; and the petitioner did not establish specific and non-speculative qualifying work assignments in a specialty occupation for the entire time requested in the petition. 

Even as H-1B approval rates have plummeted nationwide, however, Chin & Curtis consistently exceeds these national approval rates.  Since national denial rates began to increase in the second half of 2017, Chin & Curtis has maintained an approval rate of more than 98%. 

Details: NFAP Report:; USCIS Data Hub: