High denial rates of H1B petitions for Indians under Trump admin: US think tank


As a result of more restrictive Trump administration policies, rejection rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, with the highest denial rate among major Indian IT companies, according to an American-based think tank.

Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from six per cent in FY 2015 to 24 per cent through the third quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment the think tank said.

In an analysis, a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) studied U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data. H-1B petitions for “initial” employment are primarily for new employment, typically a case that would count against the H-1B annual limit.

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific speciality, or its equivalent.

The denial rate of H1B petition witnessed a massive downfall from Indian companies. Tech Mahindra denial rate soars to 41 per cent in 2019 from four per cent. Meanwhile, Wipro denial rate reached 53 per cent from seven for the same period.

At least 12 companies that provide professional or IT services to other US companies, including Accenture, Capgemini and others, had denial rates of over 30 per cent through the first three quarters of fiscal 2019.

USCIS adjudicators denied 24 per cent of H-1B petitions for “initial” employment and

12 per cent of H-1B petitions for “continuing” employment. The 12 per cent denial rate for continuing employment is also historically high – four times higher than the denial rate of only 3 per cent for H-1B petitions for continuing employment as recently as FY 2015, said, NFAP.

In the first three quarters of FY 2019, USCIS adjudicators denied 12 per cent of H-1B petitions for “continuing” employment, compared to denying only 3 per cent of H-1B petitions for continuing employment in FY 2015 (and only 5 per cent as recently as FY 2017).

Between FY 2009 and FY 2017 the denial rate on H-1B petitions for continuing employment never exceeded 6 per cent. Yet in FY 2018 and FY 2019, due to new USCIS policies, the denial rate increased to 12 per cent.

Research by Britta Glennon, an assistant professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, found, “Restrictive H-1B policies could not only be exporting more jobs and businesses to countries like Canada, but they also could be making the U.S.’s innovative capacity fall behind.”

In response to being unable to hire high-skilled foreign nationals, U.S. companies increase their hiring overseas, which causes more innovation by foreign nationals to take place in other countries, benefiting those nations. H-1B visa restrictions, such as those now being implemented by the administration, push jobs outside the United States and lead to less innovation in America.

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