H-1B Visa Refusal Rates Reach All-Time High

Vastavam web: The denial of work visas to employees of the largest exporters of IT services in India has increased to an all-time high, as per the data obtained from a research foundation based in the US. India’s largest four software services exporters: Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro, had seen about half of their work visa applications rejected last year when the Donald Trump administration pushed for more jobs and higher pays for American workers. Also Read – Nirmala Sitharaman silent on higher taxes for foreign investors: sources

The visa refusal rate for TCS increased from 6% to 37% in the financial year 2015 during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019 (October-December 2018), as per a report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). NFAP obtained data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that follows a financial year from October to September.

The percentage of denial for Infosys has increased to a massive 57% in the first quarter of the financial year 2019 from 2% in the fiscal year 2015, while the number of HCL has gone up to 43% from 2% in FY 15.

Shivendra Singh, vice president of the global trade department at industry body Nasscom said, “The numbers have shot through the roof.” “The high (denial) rates and request for evidence (RFE) are impacting the ability of Indian companies to service clients in the key US market besides making it more expensive,” he further added.

Nasscom’s Singh said, “The industry grouping has been arguing strongly for the US to streamline the process so that (Indian) IT companies continue to make the US economy more competitive by working with more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies, the majority being American companies”. “We are getting highly impacted by this since the numbers have never been this high. If the denial rate or RFEs are more, it increases the paperwork, and there is more burden and more cost for companies,” he said. The new data published by USCIS also show an increase in RFEs and visa denials.

RFEs approved petitions for the first three quarters of the fiscal year 2019 were 62.7% with an initial rejection rate of 16.1%, as a result of President Trump’s Buy American, Hire American executive order. Whereas, in the fiscal year 2015, approval with RFEs was as high as 83.2%.