H-1B approval rates ticked up in FY2020, but remained historically low

22 Feb 21

UNITED STATES

H-1B approval rates rose in the 2020 fiscal year, but remained historically low, according to new statistics released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Key Points:

  • H-1B approvals. The percentage of approved H-1B petitions in fiscal 2020 reached 91.4%, up from the 84% range for the previous two years, but still below the approval rates of 2015 to 2017, when approvals ranged from 92.6% to 95.7%.
  • RFE rate. The percentage of H-1B cases receiving requests for evidence (RFEs) dropped significantly to 28.8% in 2020, compared to 40.2% in 2019 and 38% in 2018, but remained high compared to the RFE rates of 2015 to 2017 (20.8% to 22.3%).
  • Approvals with RFEs. The H-1B approval rate for cases that received RFEs also rose to 73.4% in 2020, compared to the previous two years, but remained low compared to 2015 to 2017 (73.6% to 83.2%).
Fiscal Year H-1B Approvals RFE Rate Approvals with RFE
2020 91.4% 28.8% 73.4%
2019 84.9% 40.2% 65.4%
2018 84.5% 38.0% 62.4%
2017 92.6% 21.4% 73.6%
2016 93.9% 20.8% 78.9%
2015 95.7% 22.3% 83.2%

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

Copyright © 2021 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.