Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
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

Jan 15, 2021

Trump Tries Again to Raise Prevailing Wages, Success not Expected

In the last full week of the Trump administration, the DOL has once more issued a prevailing wage rule that lifts wages for H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1 nonimmigrant cases and for the PERM labor certification program. The new final rule, which was published on January 14, and goes into effect sixty days later, contains significant prevailing wage increases for all wage levels, though the new minimums are not as high as initially sought by DOL. The rule also provides a multi-year transition period which is intended to give employers time to meet the wage increases and makes certain accommodations for H-1B workers who are pursuing employment-based permanent residence. Initial wage increases are set to begin on July 1, 2021.

Jan 08, 2021

Final Rule Signals Major Change in H-1B Selection Process

In November 2020, we reported on the Trump administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making, announcing a major change in the process for filing cap subject H-1B petitions. The new proposed selection process prioritizes registrations based on wage level, thus giving priority to those registrations by employers who are paying the highest prevailing wages. Following the mandatory notice and comment period, the government has announced that the final rule will go into effect, without modification, on Friday, January 8, 2021.

Jan 04, 2021

H-1B, L-1 Restrictions Extended through March 31, 2021

Late on December 31, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation continuing Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspended the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proclamations have been continued until March 31, 2021. Learn more in this blog.