Ashwin Sharma quoted in the Times of India re: New Data Confirming that USCIS has Targeted H-1Bs for Indian IT Consultants for Queries and Denials

“Data for the first quarter of US fiscal 2019 (that is, three months ended December 2018) shows that 60% of all completed H-1B cases had been issued RFEs. This is significant, considering that only 38% of all completed H-1B applications received RFEs during fiscal 2018 (12-month period ended September 30, 2018) and 21.4% in the previous fiscal. 

The denial rates for initial visa applications for Capgemini was as high as 80%. It was 61% for Cognizant, which was the top employer. It ranged between 20% and 40% for India headquartered companies. Contrast this with US headquartered non-consultancy companies such Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Facebook and Apple, which saw a denial rate of only around 1% for new visa applications. The total approval rate for these US companies (including for continued employment) was 98-99%.

USCIS denied 54% of the initial H-1B petitions for Infosys while for Mindtree the denial rate was 40%. It was 23% for Wipro and the L&T group combined (comprising L&T InfoTech and L&T Tech Services). TCS, the second largest employer of H-1B workers, fared better with a denial rate of 22%.

“The ‘Initial Evidence’ Memo will be used to aggressively reject H-1B applications filed by IT consultancy companies,” forecasts Ashwin Sharma, a Florida-based immigration attorney. Sharma believes that the USCIS has essentially crucified the entire IT consultancy sector.

“To illustrate, I have seen USCIS mischaracterize very clear language to win its argument. USCIS knows that each and every one of its illegal denials can easily be overturned by a Federal Court judge, but it also knows that the vast majority of its improper decisions won’t be questioned because the gateway to justice has a high admission fee,” he said.”

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