RFEs in H-1B Cases Increase by 45% in 2017

The number of RFEs (Request for Evidence) being issued by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has shot up by 45% this year as compared to the previous year.  An RFE is usually issued when any document or evidence required for adjudicating a visa petition is not provided.   The request for additional documentation or information is made by the adjudicating officer in order to assist him in rendering an approval or denial decision on the case. 

In a number of H-1B cases filed this year, the USCIS has issued RFEs demanding justification of the wage level, speciality nature of the occupation or further details on the worker’s qualifications and experience.  Statistics show that the USCIS has sent RFEs to 85,265 H-1B employers from January 01 to August 31, 2017 while the numbers for the same period in 2016 and 2015 were much lower – 58,919 and 57,414 respectively. 

The increased scrutiny of visa petitions and rise in number of RFEs is in part due to Trump’s Executive Order of April 2017, “Buy American, Hire American,” which directs officials to protect the interest of the American workers first.  

(Source: U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) statistics. 

U.S. Department of Labour.

Sukanya Raman, Immigration Executive

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