H-1B Approvals Up from Last Year


Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer May 26, 2020

​Approval rates for H-1B and L-1 professional work visas rose in the second quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2020 (January-March) while requests for evidence (RFEs) remained high, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Approval Rate Highest in 2015

The H-1B visa approval rate was 87 percent in the second quarter of FY 2020, up from 84 percent at the same time last year. The H-1B approval rate for 2019 overall was 85 percent. The rate of approvals was highest in 2015 at 96 percent. In the second quarter of FY 2020, 36 percent of H-1B petitions were subject to RFEs, a slight increase from 35 percent during the same time last year. The L-1 approval rate was 74 percent in the second quarter of FY 2020, an increase from 72 percent the year before.


H-1B Filers Rethinking Their Petitions

The dramatic changes to the U.S. economy between March 1—when employers entered the H-1B lottery—and one month later, when they were notified that their applicants were selected for visas, have left many uncertain of their next move.

(SHRM Online)

USCIS Extends RFE Deadlines

Applicants and petitioners who received an RFE or notice of intent to deny dated between March 1 and May 1 may submit their responses within 60 calendar days after the deadline set in the notice.

(SHRM Online)

Managing H-1B Workers During Pandemic

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden transition to a work-from-home model for much of the country left employers that sponsor H-1B workers with many questions. Here, immigration attorneys responded to queries about changes in working conditions, furloughs and layoffs for employers with H-1B workers on staff.

(SHRM Online)

U.S. Immigration Upended

The U.S. response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted several facets of employment-based immigration, including travel restrictions, office closures, delayed processing and relaxed rules.

(SHRM Online)

Trump's Immigration Ban Limited in Duration, Scope

President Donald Trump's April 22 executive order pausing immigration to protect U.S. workers who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic initially concerned many employers but applies to only a relatively few foreign nationals sponsored for employment visas.

(SHRM Online)


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