Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Sep 21, 2017

USCIS Significantly Increases H-1B RFE Issuance in 2017

Jonathan A. Grode

USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions have increased by more than 45% this year compared to the same timeframe in 2016, Reuters reports. Between January 31, 2017 and August 31, 2017, the agency issued approximately 85,000 such requests, compared to 59,000 over a similar period in 2016. USCIS RFEs may cover a wide range of topics, and may range from simple document requests (such as a request that a document be translated) to extensive challenges which require employers to prove (or re-prove) significant portions of the case.  

In particular, many immigration practitioners are reporting an increase in RFEs which are targeted at entry-level positions, including RFEs which challenge whether or not the duties of the position are sufficiently complex for the role to qualify as an H-1B occupation, or which challenge the use of lower prevailing wage levels in support of the filing. Although the increase in RFEs for H-1B petitions is not tied to any change in law or regulation, the apparent change in agency approach for these filings is consistent with the objectives set forth within President Trump’s "Buy American and Hire American" executive order.

Importantly, it is yet to be seen what impact, if any, this uptick in RFE issuance will have on the corresponding denial rates for H-1B petitions, as complete data in this area has not yet been released for this year, and many petitions which were filed under the Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap remain pending.

For additional guidance regarding the H-1B classification and the current adjudicative climate, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. 

Related Team

Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode

215-395-8959

215-395-8959

email Jonathan

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)
Providence (New England)

Full Biography

Jonathan A. Grode

Recent Blogs

Apr 13, 2021

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

On April 12. 2021 USCIS announced that F-1 students can now file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization online when applying for Pre-Completion OPT, Post-Completion OPT, or a 24-month OPT STEM extension. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 07, 2021

H, L, J-Visa Holders No Longer Suspended from Entry into the United States but Most Noncitizens Remain Subject to Travel Restrictions

Presidential Proclamation 10052, suspending H-1B, H-2B, J and L admissions, expired March 31, 2021. Ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) public health travel restrictions remain in place requiring travelers from certain areas to qualify for national interest exceptions. U.S. Consulates are still operating at reduced levels and will have to work through backlogs as the pandemic ends. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 23, 2021

U.S. Restrictions on Travel from Canada to the United States

Restrictions on U.S. – Canadian border travel will continue for at least another month. It is possible to fly from Canada to the United States. Those flying into the U.S. must have a COVID-19 test and may need advance permission. Learn more in this blog.