In a National Foundation for American Policy Brief released this month, the Foundation tracked the statistical effects of recent immigration policy changes made under the Trump Administration.  Below, we’ve included data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as calculations made by the National Foundation for American Policy for their July 2018 Report.

H-1B Petition Statistics for FY 2017

Request for Evidence Rate on H-1B Petitions: 3rd Quarter vs. 4th Quarter FY 2017

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Foundation for American Policy Calculations.

H-1B Petition Denial Rates: 3rd Quarter vs. 4th Quarter FY 2017

Source: U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Foundation for American Policy Calculations.

L-1B Denial Statistics

Denial Rate for L-1B Petitions: 1st Quarter vs. 4th Quarter FY 2017

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Foundation for American Policy Calculations.

Denial Rate for L-1B Petitions: F 2015 to FY 2018

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Foundation for American Policy Calculations.

L-1A Denial Statistics

Denial Rate for L-1A Petitions: 1st Quarter vs. 4th Quarter FY 2017

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Foundation for American Policy Calculations.

O-1 Petition Statistics

Request for Evidence Rate on O-1 Petitions: 1st Quarter vs. 4th Quarter FY 2017

What does the data show?

  • Requests for Evidence for H-1B petitions have more than doubled between the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter of FY 2017, increasing from 28,711 to 63,184. Furthermore, this 4th quarter figure represents a shocking change from the 1st quarter of FY 2017, the end of the Obama administration (an increase from 17% to 69%).
  • Foreign nationals from India, in particular, were found to be much more likely to receive a Request for Evidence, totaling 72% of all H-1B cases for Indians in comparison to 61% for all other countries. This holds true for L-1B cases as well.
  • The denial rate for L-1B (“specialized knowledge”) petitions increased by a total of 7% between the 1st and 4th quarter of FY 2017. And this rate has continued to increase in 2018.
  • There was also a sizeable increase in the denial rate of L-1A (“managerial or executive position”) petitions between the 1st and 4th quarters of FY 2017 (12.8% to 21.4%).
  • Finally, 80% of O-1 (“extraordinary ability”) petitions for Indian Nationals were responded to with Requests for Evidence by the 4th quarter of FY 2017.

What specific policy changes have had the most impact on immigration?

On the heels of Donald Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order signed on April 18, 2017, there has been a steep increase in the number of denials and Requests for Evidence.  Particularly in the fourth quarter of FY 2017, we can see a staggering difference between these numbers and those reported in the third quarter of the same year.

Additionally, another new policy allows adjudicators to issue denials without issuing a Request for Evidence, thereby not giving the employer a chance to respond.  Perhaps most disturbing, the USCIS new policy regarding Notices to Appear (NTAs) could immediately place highly-skilled applicants whose petitions are denied into deportation proceedings.