USCIS RFEs Three-Fifths of H-1Bs

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Figure 1

Three-Fifths, or 60%, of H-1B completions received RFEs during Q1 of Fiscal Year 2019

An H-1B visa allows employers to temporarily employ non-immigrant workers in specialty occupations. During the First Quarter FY 2019 (Oct – Dec), the USCIS approved 76,176 H-1B visa applications, and denied 24,851, for a total of 101,027 completions. Out of the 101,027 application completions, 60% received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the USCIS.

It appears the agency is increasing its scrutiny of H-1B applications over recent years. Here is a breakdown of the last 5 first quarters:

  • 1Q FY 2015 – 26.9%
  • 1Q FY 2016 – 33.9%
  • 1Q FY 2017 – 27.5%
  • 1Q FY 2018 – 45.6%
  • 1Q FY 2019 – 60.0%

When does the USCIS send an RFE?

“USCIS issues written notices in the form of a request for evidence (RFE) to request missing initial or additional evidence from applicants or petitioners who filed for immigration benefits.” USCIS.gov.

For all the data used in this post, please see the chart entitled, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  I-129 H-1B Receipts, Completions, and Requests for Evidence (RFE) Sent, FY15-FY19 (Through December 31, 2018), Aggregated by Fiscal Year and Quarter.


If you or your company are interested in applying for an H-1B visa, or if you already have applied and received a Request for Evidence from the USCIS, Christians Law, PLLC is here to help.