H-1B, L-1 visa denials to Indians rising: Report

Washington: US immigration authorities, in the past four years, have increased denial of work-related visas, with India-born professionals being refused at higher rates than nationals of other countries, an American think tank said in a report today.

Analysis of new data obtained from US Citizenship and Immigration Services showed the agency had increased denials of L-1 and H-1B petitions beginning 2008, thus harming the competitiveness of US employers and encouraging companies to keep more jobs and resources outside the country, said the report released by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).

The report entitled "Data Reveal High Denial Rates for L-1 and H-1 Petitions at USCIS" indicated most of the increase in denials involves India-born professionals and researchers.

The denial rate for India-born applicants for new L-1B petitions rose from 2.8 per cent in Fiscal Year 2008 to 22.5 per cent in FY 2009, a substantial increase that resulted in many employers being unable to transfer their employees into the US to work on research projects or serve customers, it said.

Illustrating the abrupt change, immigration authorities denied more L-1B petitions for new petitions for Indians in FY 2009 (1,640) than in the previous nine fiscal years combined (1,341 denials between FY 2000 and FY 2008), it said.

The report noted, "If one considers that in FY 2011 63 per cent of all L-1B petitions received a Request for Evidence and 27 per cent were issued a denial, that means US Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicators denied or delayed between 63 per cent to 90 per cent of all L-1B petitions in 2011."