The rate at which US immigration authorities deny H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant visas has increased within the last four years, and the rate is even higher to foreign nationals from India, according to a recent report released by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). New data recently released from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveal that it has increased denials since 2008.
The data illustrate just how sharply the rate has jumped. In Fiscal Year 2008, L-1B denials were at 2.8 percent. That number rose to 22.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2009. In fact, there were more L-1B visa denials for Indian nationals in 2009 (1,640) than there were in the previous nine years combined (1,341).
Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased dramatically as well. Denial rates for Indian nationals increased from 11 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2009, 21 per cent in 2010, and 17 percent in 2011.
According to the NFAP report, the dramatic increase in denial rates and Requests for Evidence for employment petitions without any change in the law or regulations raises questions about the training, supervision and procedures of the career bureaucracy that adjudicates petitions and the US government’s commitment to maintaining a stable business climate for companies competing in the global economy. The report states that “Denying employers the ability to transfer in key personnel or gain entry for a skilled professional or researcher harms innovation and job creation in the United States, encouraging employers to keep more resources outside the country to ensure predictability.”