Government data indicates that H-1B visa applications are being denied at higher rates than ever before under the Trump Administration. An analysis performed by the National Foundation for American Policy shows that H-1B denial rates have risen from 6% during fiscal year 2015 to 24% up to the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. For people trying to secure legal status in Texas, that could mean it’s getting harder to get a visa. The NFAP pointed out that the H-1B denial rate was never higher than 8% between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2015.

The reason for the increase in denial rates seems to be that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has changed its standards for petition approval. According to one of the founding members of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, USCIS has made the legal standard for H-1B decisions stricter without having any legal authority to do so. This could be a reason behind the increase in H-1B denial rates.

H-1B petitions in the initial employment category have been denied at a higher rate across nearly all industries. Information technology services companies may have been hardest hit by the denial increases with 12 of the largest IT companies having denial rates higher than 30% for H-1B applications. By way of comparison, similar companies experienced rates of denial in the range of 2% to 7% during fiscal year 2015.

Companies and individuals who are seeking H1-B visa approval or other immigration status might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney who practices immigration law might be able to help by putting together necessary legal documents, gathering evidence in support of the immigration application or communicating with government officials on the client’s behalf. In cases where the initial application is denied, an attorney may file an appeal or suggest alternative avenues to secure legal immigration into the United States.