Don’t Worry; An Experienced Attorney Can Assist You with Your H-1B Request for Evidence
You thought that you supplied USCIS with all the required documentation. You clearly qualify for the benefit being sought. However, USCIS has stated that “the evidence you submitted is insufficient to establish eligibility.” Now your only recourse is to “submit evidence which meets the requirements as specified below.”
Trump administration policies are making it more difficult for both immigrants and temporary visas holders to enter the United States.
In 2018, the number of H-1B requests for evidence sent out went up to 38%; in real numbers, twice as many requests for evidence were issued than in the prior year. USCIS has imposed an additional basis of denial due to a failure to demonstrate an employer-employee relationship, an absence of non-speculative work, and a failure to provide a complete Itinerary. Most responses will lack the detail required to properly respond leading to subsequent denials of the visa petition.
These changes highlight the need for an Experienced Immigration Attorney
We have been very successful in preparing and obtaining H-1B nonimmigrant visas for employers and subsequent immigrant visas and green cards for their employees on H-1B. We prepare hundreds of such petitions each year. We offer excellent service at a competitive price. Of course, price isn’t everything. Timeliness, responsiveness, professionalism, and expertise are all part of providing employer quality guidance and representation. We are known for our approvals, availability, responsiveness, timeliness, professionalism, and expertise.
This decline in immigrant and temporary visas is due to restrictive policies from the Trump administration.
The administration’s March 2017, presidential memorandum on ” heightened screening and vetting of applications for visas” and changes in the Foreign Affairs Manual are most responsible for the decline in visa issuance. The March 2017, the presidential memorandum stated, “I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security . . . to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission.” The April 2017, Buy American and Hire American executive order has worked to increase the number of Requests for Evidence, increased H-1B petition scrutiny, heightened USCIS’ own interpretation of its regulations, and increased denials to reduce the number of H-1B temporary visa holders admitted to the United States.
H-1B Denials and Requests for Evidence Have Increased Under the Trump Administration
According to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in 2015 to 32% in the first quarter of 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment.
Between 2015 and 2018 the denial rate for new H-1B petitions quadrupled from 6% to 24%. In the past, the denial rate for initial H-1B petitions never exceeded 8%. USCIS adjudicators also denied 18% of H-1B petitions for “continuing” employment, compared to denying only 3% of H-1B petitions for continuing employment in 2015.
USCIS also issued a Request for Evidence in 60% of cases in the first quarter of 2019. Request for Evidence increases delays and such requests can cost employers up to $4,500 in additional legal expenses.
USCIS has identified the top reasons it issued an RFEs:
- “The petitioner did not establish that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation.”
- “The petitioner did not establish that they had a valid employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary.”
- “The petitioner did not establish they have specific and non-speculative qualifying assignments in a specialty occupation for the entire time requested in the petition.”
This continues a trend established in 2017, where Requests for Evidence almost equaled the total number of H-1B visas issued by USCIS adjudicators for the first three quarters of 2017 combined (63,184 vs. 63,599).
Contact a San Francisco Immigration Lawyer
Trump administration policies are making it more difficult for both immigrants and temporary visas holders to enter the United States. Contact an experienced immigration law attorney at Litwin & Smith. Led by a certified specialist in immigration, our team of immigration and naturalization attorneys can assist you and your family with all of your business and personal immigration needs.
For more detailed information regarding work and family visas, green cards, and other immigration and naturalization issues, please view our Immigration Articles.
H-1B Denial Rates: Past and Present, NFAP Policy Brief, National Federation for American Policy, April 2019, https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/H-1B-Denial-Rates-Past-and-Present.NFAP-Policy-Brief.April-2019.pdf (Accessed May 14, 2019)
Link to data can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/BAHA/h-1B-quarterly-requests-for-evidence-2015-2019-Q1-top-30-employers.pdf
Employer-Paid H-1B Visa Fees for College Scholarships and Job Training, NFAP Policy Brief, National Foundation for American Policy, April 2019
Understanding Requests for Evidence (RFEs): A Breakdown of Why RFEs Were Issued For H-1B Petitions in Fiscal Year 2018, USCIS.
H-1B Denial s and Requests for Evidence Increase Under the Trump Administration, NFAP Policy Brief, National Foundation for American Policy, July 2018, https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/H-1B-Denial-and-RFE-Increase.NFAP-Policy-Brief.July-2018.pdf (Accessed May 14, 2019)