There has been a substantial increase in denial of H-1B visa petitions of Indians by the US Immigration authority as compared to people of other nationalities, according to a report by an American non-profit body.
Also, Indian applicants received the most number of Request for Evidence for applications than the people from other countries, said the National Foundation for American Policy report, compiled on the basis of the information received from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
USCIS makes an inquiry called a Request for Evidence (RFE) when they require additional evidence to make a decision on a H-1B case. "USCIS adjudicators were much more likely to issue a Request for Evidence for applications for Indians than for people from other countries," it said.
In the fourth quarter of FY 2017, 72 per cent of H-1B cases for Indians received a Request for Evidence, compared to 61 per cent for all other countries. Data analysed over the years show USCIS adjudicators deny more applications and issue a higher rate of Requests for Evidence for Indians on both H-1B and L-1 petitions, the report said.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
An L-1 visa is a visa document used to enter the US for the purpose of work. It is a non-immigrant visa, and is valid for a relatively short period of time, from three months to five years, based on a reciprocity schedule.
Also, there was a 42 per cent increase in the proportion of H-1B petitions denied for India-born professionals from the third to the fourth quarter of FY 2017.
In the third quarter, 16.6 per cent of the completed H-1B cases for Indians were denied compared to 23.6 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Similarly, there was a 40 per cent increase in the proportion of H-1B petitions USCIS adjudicators denied for professionals from countries other than India from the third to fourth quarter, rising from a denial rate of 14 per cent in the third quarter to 19.6 per cent in the fourth quarter.
The report said that H-1B denials and requests for Evidence (RFEs) increased significantly in the 4th quarter of FY 2017, likely due to new Trump administration policies.
The proportion of H-1B petitions denied for foreign-born professionals increased by 41 per cent increase from the 3rd to the 4th quarter of FY 2017, rising from a denial rate of 15.9 per cent in the 3rd quarter to 22.4 per cent in the 4th quarter, it said.
The number of Requests for Evidence in the fourth quarter of FY 2017 almost equalled. The total number issued by USCIS adjudicators for the first three quarters of FY 2017 combined (63,184 vs 63,599).
Failure to comply with an adjudicator's Request for Evidence will result in the denial of an application.
As a percentage of completed cases, the Request for Evidence rate was approximately 69 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to 23 per cent in the third quarter of FY 2017, the report said.