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H-1B Denials and Requests for Evidence Increase Dramatically after “Buy American Hire American” Exec

What has been going on:

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the “Buy American Hire American” Executive Order in hopes of “creating higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers and protecting their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws,” according to USCIS. However, it has been particularly burdensome on U.S. employers who are facing labor shortages and need to secure visas, such as H-1B, to fill high-skill positions.

Data obtained by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) reveals that the amount of H-1B petition denials for foreign-born candidates has increased by a staggering 41% between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the Fiscal Year 2017, rising from a denial rate of 15.9% to 22.4%. Meanwhile, the number of Requests for Evidence (RFE) has risen from the FY 2017 3rd quarter's rate of 23% to 69% by the 4th quarter. See the full report here.

An additional obstacle for U.S. Employers:

On July 26, 2018, we posted an article discussing a policy memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The updated policy guides USCIS to complete the process of denying visa petitions, applications, or requests without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if the evidence in the record does not prove eligibility to the first adjudicator conducting the initial review of the case.

How U.S. Employers should React:

Business Immigration Attorney Danielle Atchison of the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm believes U.S. business owners trying to retain high-skill international labor should be concerned by the financial consequences they may face given the Trump Administration’s handling of immigration policy:

“U.S. Employers are dealing with a labor market that is short on labor and short on skills. If we don’t encourage full employment of our high skilled positions, they will inevitably move abroad," Atchison says. "The RFE and NOID issuance rates are out of control. The requests appear to be ploys to wear out U.S. Employers. We will continue to fight with our clients to get the qualified labor they need.”

Ana McMullen | Compliance Specialist CORPORATE IMMIGRATION COMPLIANCE INSTITUTE 7007 College Blvd., # 460, Overland Park, KS 66211 USA Email :

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.

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