The rate of denials for H1-B visas has been on the rise since the beginning of the Trump administration. The number of denials rose to 32% during the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year from just 6% during the 2015 fiscal year. North Carolina employers that are pursuing H1-B visas might be interested in the details of some government documents that shed light on the reasons for the increase in the number of denials.

The documents show that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is making an effort to reduce the number of skilled workers from foreign countries performing jobs in the United States. The government documents were made public by the American Immigration Lawyers Association after it settled a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act. Based on the evidence contained in the documents, it seems USCIS has raised the burden on U.S. companies to bring in foreign nationals for highly-skilled work. This is especially true for companies in technology fields like computer programming.

During periods where there is a lack of work, a 1998 law allows employers to place H1-B visa employees in nonproductive status, but USCIS has been insisting that companies provide evidence of up to years of specific work performed and signed contracts. The 1998 law requires only that the companies make the nonproductive status designation and keep paying the employee his or her full salary.

Trump administration policies have complicated the immigration process. An attorney who practices immigration law might be able to help employers or individuals by drafting and filing required legal documents or by communicating with USCIS on the client’s behalf. An attorney might be able to help interested parties secure temporary work visas or status as permanent residents of the United States.