Visa Crunch

US H1B Visa Denial Rates Hit Record Low; Tech Companies See Most Approvals

Denial rates for US H1B visas have plummeted to an all-time low after new data emerged showing that 96% of the speciality occupation visas were approved in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

The findings, published by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) – a policy research organization based in Arlington – revealed that the H1B visa rejection rate had dropped to an impressive 4%.

The drop represents a significant rise in H1B visa approval rates. In FY 2020, 13% of H1B applications were refused, while in 2019, the rejection rate was at 21% and a year earlier it reached 24%.

Executive director at NFAP, Stuart Anderson, said: “The 4% refusal rate in FY 2021 for new H1B petitions was similar to the rate before Donald Trump took office, meaning the Trump years were an aberration due to imposing restrictive policies that courts found to be unlawful.”

Tech companies see most approved H1B visas: During FY 2021, retail and e-commerce giant Amazon received the most H1B petitions for initial employment with a reported 6,182, followed closely by tech firm, Infosys, with a reported 5,256 approvals. Meanwhile, tech giants TCS had 3,063 approvals, Wipro had 2,121 approvals and Cognizant saw 1,481 petitions approved.

Meanwhile, Google had 1,453 petitions accepted, IBM saw 1,402 petitions approved, HCL America received 1,299 and Microsoft had a total of 1,240 approvals.

In contrast, in FY 2020 the denial rate among major IT companies was high. Tech Mahindra saw a 30% refusal rate, L&T a 26% rejection rate, Infosys a whopping 58% denial rate and Cognizant a 48% rejection rate.

Labour shortages: Despite fewer H1B visa rejection rates, the US is in the grip of major labour shortages across key industry sectors.

Recently, the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark, has said more immigration to the US is needed to ease inflation and tackle America’s labour shortages. Ms Clark has urged the Biden administration to ease US immigration policies in order to double the number of legal immigrants.

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