NEW DELHI :
Shattering the 'Great American Dream' of several Indian techies, the US government is acting tougher than before under Donald Trump's rule as every fourth H-1B visa application gets rejected. A new report now shows that companies are not even challenging the decision of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reject visas in such large numbers.
According to the report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a pro-immigrant thinktank, employers of H-1B visa applicants failed to appeal against rejections 98% of the time in FY 2019. (In the US, a financial year runs from October to September.)
CIS analysed data from two different Department of Homeland Security data systems and found that in FY 2019, there were 69,543 initial H-1B denials recorded, but only 1,395 cases were appealed against.
The report said the trend suggests two things -- most companies think that they lack a good enough argument to fight against H-1B visa denial and the current population of H-1B workers, assumed to be close to one million, could be more than adequate for industry's perceived needs.
New York-based immigration law firm Davies & Associates claims that so far every H-1B application filed by them has been successful. A competently prepared H-1B petition requires inputs from both Indian and US lawyers.
"H-1B applicants face denial because of the substandard quality of work from lawyers who offer a cheap price but then deliver a poor service by cutting staffing costs and building a weak case. Ensure that the lawyer who will be assisting you to file an H-1B visa has not obtained high H-1B denials initially. As this will then probably diminish chances of success on appeal. To minimalize the chance of denial, attempt an appeal with the lawyer who is well-versed with the process," Mark Davies, Global Chairman, Davies & Associates, LLC, told Livemint.
Another report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) had recently shown how Indian IT companies like Infosys, Wipro and TCS are amongst the worst hit by visa denials.
Indian IT professionals dominate the list of H-1B visa holders as about 70% of them are from India. The US government issues 85,000 H-1B work visas every year. Davis said there is no reason why H1B cases which have made it through the visa lottery should be denied.
According to the CIS, a company saves at least $10,000 to $20,000 a year roughly from hiring an H-1B worker, rather than a US citizen.