The number of Requests for Evidence issued by USCIS to H-1B visa applicants has encountered a very high increase in 2018. According to data on delayed processing of H-1B visa applications, in 2018 there was a drastic increase in the rate of Request for Evidence issued last year.
The RFEs issued by the end of 2018 spiked up by 60 percent, compared to 2015’s high of 35 percent. Statistics also show that the rate of H-1B approvals fell from 96 percent in 2015, to 85 percent in 2018. Another report shows that the USCIS adjudicators were much more likely to issue a Request for Evidence for applications from Indians than for people from other countries.
The USCIS has also published the top ten reasons why applicants are required to submit additional documents, to those initially submitted.
1. Specialty Occupation
Most Requests for Evidence were issued to applicants that did not establish that the job they were offered in the US did not qualify as a specialty occupation.
2. Employer-Employee Relationship
The second most common reason why petitioners were issued with an RFE is for not proving a valid employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary, by having the right to control the beneficiary’s work, which may include the ability to hire, fire, or supervise the beneficiary, for the duration of the requested validity period.
3. Availability of Work (Off-site)
Another reason among the most common to receive an RFE in 2018 was when the petitioner did not establish that they have specific and non-speculative qualifying assignments in a specialty occupation for the beneficiary for the entire time requested in the petition.
4. Beneficiary Qualifications
Petitioners were issued with a Request for Evidence when they did not prove that the beneficiary was qualified to perform services in a specialty occupation in the US.
5. Maintenance of Status
USCIS asked for more documents to prove maintenance of states when the beneficiary did not present proof strong enough to prove that they properly maintained their status.
6. Availability of Work (In-house)
Petitioners that did not prove that the beneficiary would have specific and non-speculative qualifying assignments in a specialty occupation for the entire time requested in the petition also received an RFE.
7. LCA Corresponds to Petition
An RFE was issued to petitioners that did not prove they obtained a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), which properly corresponds to the proffered position and terms of the petition.
8. AC21 and Six Year Limit
The eighth most common reason for the USCIS to issue an RFE is when the petitioner did not establish that the beneficiary was eligible for AC21 benefits or was otherwise eligible for an H-1B extension as it appeared that H-1B had hit the six-year limit.
A Request for Evidence was issued to all the cases in which the petitioner did not submit an itinerary with a petition that requires services to be performed in more than one location.
Petitioners that did not present enough proof that they paid all required H-1B filing fees also received a Request for Evidence.