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US approves more H-1B visas in 2019 despite stricter scrutiny

The US has approved a higher number of H-1B applications(both for initial visas and visa extension for continued employment) in 2019, showing that the demand for these work visas continues to be strong.

While in 2015, about 288,000 applications were approved by USCIS, for fiscal year 2019, the number passed 389,0000, up from last year's 335,000.

USCIS statistics from fiscal year 2015 - 2019, check page 3 for H-1B summary data

The above data also shows that USCIS continued scrutiny of H-1B applications. RFEs were sought in 40% of cases from sponsoring employers to justify the visa applications. It is said that the top three reasons for an RFE are

  1. to ascertain whether the job is a speciality occupation to warrant hiring of H-1B worker

  2. to ascertain a bona fide employer-employee relationship

  3. to ascertain the availability of work at third party work site

Top 10 reasons for H-1B RFE-Request for Evidence

It is said that determination of whether a job is specialised or not is a factor that will continue to dominate the processing of H-1B visa application. For more information, please check H-1B knowledge base for more information.

Not all jobs are created equal!

H-1B Visa, RFE