The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has estimated that 95.5 per cent of the total H-1B visa applications filed were approved, during the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the highest since Donald Trump became President of the United States.

According to USCIS, the data belongs to the third quarter of the year, that ended on June 30, a few days after Trump suspended new applications for non-immigrant visas including H-1B and L-1, VisaGuide.World reports.

During the first two quarters, visa approval rates were at 83.4 per cent and 87.1 per cent, including applications led in previous quarters as well as the extension of H-1B visas for a second three-year term.

Based on previous data, released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, visa approval rates dropped by nearly 94 per cent in the fiscal year 2016 to about 85 per cent in 2018, and 2019.

Lawyers stressed that several reasons had helped the increase in the number of visa approvals.

“We are seeing higher approval rates with less Request for Evidence from prior years. There are multiple factors for this, including a decrease in lings, multiple litigations win, the pandemic and USCIS losing money,” immigration partner at immigration law firm Greenspoon Marder, Nandini Nair pointed out.

A significant drop has also been noted in the number of applications cleared with RFE, nearly 20 per cent, compared to the first two quarters, 40 per cent and 35.8 per cent. It is estimated that this has partly happened due to the litigation led by the US IT body IT Service Alliance.

 “As a result of this, USCIS issued guidance that petitioners do not need to provide itineraries and end-client contracts unless they wish to do so. The lack of such itineraries and end-client contracts was the cause for many (visa) denials before,” managing partner of LawQuest, Poorvi Chothani stressed.

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a procedural request used by USCIS on applicants of H-1B visas issued to the applicant, when the agency asserts the application is not complete, or more evidence is needed to support the submitted documents.

During the quarter the number of L-1 or intra company transfer visas was higher, compared to the previous quarters, at 77.4 per cent. Last year, the L-1 visa approval rate decreased to 77.8 per cent, compared to 2018.