Request for evidence (RFE) rates increased in Q1 of Fiscal Year 2020, according to new data released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released new request for evidence data. It found that during Q1 2020, 47.2% of H-1B petitions received an RFE. This number is actually lower than it was during Q1 2019 when USCIS issued RFEs on 60.1% of H-1B petitions.
Regardless, this number is still much higher than in previous fiscal years. According to Sara Herbek, Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C., organizations that sponsor foreign nationals for employment can continue to expect higher RFE rates through the remainder of FY 2020.
“The latest RFE numbers are not surprising and reflect the trends we’ve been seeing since 2018,” said Herbek.
Employers Cite Increasing Difficulty
This data reflects findings from Envoy Global’s 2020 Immigration Trends Report, which surveys over 400 HR professionals and hiring managers across a variety of industries and company sizes. This year, employers cited increasing RFE rates as one reason why the visa application process has become more difficult. Additionally, 38% of employers surveyed said the visa application process has become more difficult under the current administration. Overall, 90% of employers would like to see the U.S. government lower RFE rates (Figure 11).
Additionally, 38% of employers surveyed said the rise in application denials has become their biggest pain point, second overall behind uncertainty of outcome (Figure 7). Together, employers feel these pain points are contributing to increased foreign national anxiety at their organizations.
Request for Evidence Predictions Moving Forward
According to Herbek, employers can expect RFE rates to remain at or near the levels they have been at since 2018. For more insights on RFE trends and other data points from USCIS, subscribe to the Envoy blog.
About The Immigration Trends Report
The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll from Oct. 30 to Nov. 19, 2019, with 433 HR professionals and hiring managers participating across a variety of industries and company sizes. Questions covered internal and external global immigration processes and challenges.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is a Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.